Cavaliers forward Kevin Love left Tuesday’s game against the Pistons with a fracture in his left hand.
“He received X-rays at the arena which revealed a non-displaced fracture in his left hand fifth metacarpal,” the Cavaliers said in a statement.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports Love is likely to be out 6-8 weeks.
Kevin Love likely out 6-8 weeks
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 31, 2018
The team says an official status update will be provided on Wednesday after further examination and consultation in Cleveland.
Heading into Tuesday’s contest, Love had been averaging 18.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, while shooting at a career-high 40 percent from long range. The 29-year-old earned his fifth All-Star selection earlier this month and was chosen to be a member of Team LeBron during the 67th NBA All-Star Game.
The Cavaliers leader LeBron James is more concerned with Love not being available for the real action as Cleveland braces for the latter half of the season.
”It’s just unfortunate for our team,” James said after the Cavs’ 125-114 loss to the Pistons. ”Obviously with everything (that’s) been going on as of late with our ballclub, just trying to figure out how we’re going to play every night, different lineups, and getting everybody into the flow, we don’t need to have Kev go out like that. He’s going to be out for quite a while – maybe two months – so it’s just tough.”
Cleveland has battled injuries throughout the season with Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert all missing a significant amount of time.
”When it rains, it pours,” coach Tyronn Lue said.
Despite the injuries, the Cavaliers (29-20) have managed to maintain the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, but struggles of late have brought questions to the team’s ability to reach a fourth straight NBA Finals. Cleveland has lost 11 of its last 16 games and 10 of its last 11 on the road. The reigning conference champions, who hold the NBA’s last-ranked defense, have shown no signs towards a turnaround and their latest injury appears to be yet another setback.
Cleveland was expected to make a move before Feb. 8’s trade deadline, but Love’s injury could possibly affect those plans and lead to a search for a replacement while their starting power forward is sidelined.