Kevin Love Suffers Left Hand Fracture, Could Miss Two MonthsJanuary 31, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments
When it rains, it pours.
The Cavs issues got even worse on Tuesday night. In the midst of a rough January, where the team got Isaiah Thomas back but went 5-8, Kevin Love suffered a left hand fracture that could sideline him for two months.
It was a harmless play under the basket. Tristan Thompson passed the ball to Love, who was supposedly hit on his left hand by defender Anthony Tolliver as he swiped down to strip the ball away. Love immediately grabbed his left hand and was left with this:
X-rays confirmed a non-displaced fifth metacarpal fracture. That means the bone cracks but is still properly aligned. Surgery is sometimes performed but is often not necessary for this type of fracture as the bone can heal on its own.
What’s interesting about this type of fracture is that it occurs most often when the fist is clenched and stikes a hard surface (for example, punching a wall.) That’s why it is often called a Boxer’s fracture. Now we aren’t saying that Love was involved in any sort of punching incident, but the Cavs have had their share of team drama and frustration recently, much of it centering around Kevin Love. It has to make you wonder if this injury previously occurred within the last few days and was aggravated on that play.
But I digress…back to the injury.
Love is no stranger to hand fractures. In the 2009-10 season he fractured the 4th metacarpal on his left hand. Then in the 2012-13 season he fractured the 3rd and 4th metacarpal on his right hand. He has also been a High Injury Risk all season due to his lengthy injury history and many health concerns, so our analytics indicate that his latest injury was no surprise.
Love’s HPF (Health Performance Factor) also just dropped to Poor and won’t improve significantly until he gets much closer to the 8 week Optimal Recovery Time. Once this fracture heals fully it shouldn’t have a negative effect on his play, especially because the injury is to his non-shooting hand. He will still remain at an increased injury risk for the rest of the season, but his HPF should improve.
A return in six weeks is incredibly optimistic. Instead the Cavs should plan to have their big man back in early April in time to get ready for the playoffs. They currently sit at third in the East behind the Celtics and Raptors. They have a lot to figure out if they want another shot at the title this season, and having a healthy Kevin Love will be crucial if they are going to have any success in the postseason.
The injury concerns don’t end with Kevin Love. Isaiah Thomas is still slowly getting his quickness and fitness back after seven months of rehab for the hip injury that occurred last season. There’s always injury drama surrounding the unreliable Derrick Rose. Tristan Thompson continues to work his way back from a significant calf strain. And Iman Shumpert just returned from a two month absence following arthroscopic knee surgery.
Losing an All Star to injury in the midst of all of this team drama could cause the Cavs season to blow up. It could also have major implications at the trade deadline and for the team as they try to work out a long-term deal to keep Lebron James in Cleveland. There’s a lot to dissect here, but the one thing we do know is that Kevin Love needs 8 weeks for his hand to heal. Until then things could continue to spiral out of control. But this isn’t a recovery process that can be rushed.
Download the Inside Injuries app for injury more updates and analysis on Kevin Love’s many injuries!