HANG TIME HOSPITAL – There is no other suitable dateline, not for the latest casualty report by a team suffering injuries literally upon injuries.
As if the Minnesota Timberwolves weren’t waylaid enough by ailments and maladies to just about every key rotation player, Kevin Love‘s season-long ordeal with a broken shooting hand took an unexpected turn Monday when he was shut down until 2013-14 by a balky left knee.
That’s right. His knee, not his hand.
The Wolves announced that their All-Star power forward would have arthroscopic surgery later this week to remove scar tissue in his left knee. He is expected to undergo the procedure when he consults with Dr. David Altchek in New York, which also is the site of his next check-up on the right hand he has broken twice this season.
Just when Love was getting close to a possible return from his hand injury – he has appeared in only 18 games, none since Jan. 3 – his increased activity in workouts caused the nagging discomfort in his knee to worsen.
“Kevin tried very hard these last few weeks to get back in time to finish the season, and frankly the issue wasn’t his hand,” Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn told reporters in a conference call Monday evening. “He’s been shooting it very well in his workout. The issue has been his knee. It isn’t a big one, it’s something that is easily addressed, but it caused enough concern that the decision we made collectively was to do this procedure now so he can have a better offseason in terms of a return to the court.”
Love, who averaged 22.7 points in 2010-11 and 2011-12 while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from the arc, obviously was bothered by his hand, which he said he initially injured doing “knuckle push-ups.” He re-injured it in a game against Denver. In his 18 games this season, he shot just 35.2 and 21.7 percent, respectively, while averaging 18.3 points.
In search of a silver lining to what has been a very dark injury cloud over his whole roster, Kahn said Love, 24, could essentially have a normal offseason starting in June. Considering how abnormal their season has been – with notable layoffs to Ricky Rubio, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko, Malcolm Lee, Nikola Pekovic and more – a summer without setback for Love is a start, anyway.