After getting off to a horrendous 0-6 start, and then firing head coach Ty Lue, the Cleveland Cavaliers received another blow this week. Kevin Love is expected to be shut down for at least the next month with the possibility of his absence extending even longer. Love has been battling a left toe injury since the preseason, and the symptoms have yet to subside. He missed the last two games before the Cavs announced his extended absence.
There hasn’t been much information released regarding the specifics of Love’s injury other than it’s been described both as a left toe and left foot injury. Love is reportedly in “intense pain,” which is one of the reasons he is being shut down for an extended period of time. That, and the fact that the Cavaliers are 0-6 to start the season.
It’s possible Love is dealing with anything from a small fracture to turf toe. Turf toe is essentially damage to the ligament in the big toe that is caused by athletic movements, such as jumping or pushing off, in which the big toe is repeatedly pushed backwards, toward the foot. Other types of ligament damage are also possible. None of these injuries would necessarily require surgery, which explains why Love’s recovery program is currently rest and rehab. It’s also possible that surgery is required later on if the time off doesn’t lead to significant improvement.
Love has a long injury history and started out the season as a High Injury Risk. We warned that it wouldn’t be long until he suffered an injury, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him pop up on the injury report in the preseason. He suffered two concussions last season as well as a torn ligament in his hand. He’s also dealt with various lower body injuries over the years. Love’s toe injury seems to be a new ailment, but it sounds like it could turn into a lingering problem if it isn’t taken care of properly now. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a 6 week Optimal Recovery Time, so we won’t expect him to be healthy until early December.