Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love opted to undergo surgery on his dislocated left shoulder and will be out four-to-six months, the team announced Wednesday night. A recovery time of the full six months would put him out right up until the start of next season.
This was a predictable outcome after the team announced that Love had ligament and labrum damage in addition to the dislocated shoulder and general manager David Griffin said it was “highly unlikely” that he’d return this season.
With Love now officially done for the year, the Cavaliers can fully focus on trying to make a championship without him. Expect to see plenty of LeBron James playing power forward, and then we’ll see who else David Blatt turns to in relief of Love. Tristan Thompson will obviously take on a bigger role, but players like James Jones, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and Kendrick Perkins are candidates for more playing time.
There will also be increased attention on Love’s impending free agency. Would he really bail on the Cavaliers after one season with his season ending this way? He could still opt in to the final year of his contract, or he could even opt out and sign a short-term pact with Cleveland before exploring other options in another year or two.