Cleveland Cavaliers orward Kevin Love will be out at least six weeks — and maybe longer — after having surgery on his left foot, another blow to a team in disarray in its first season following LeBron James’ departure.
Love, who injured his left big toe in Cleveland’s first exhibition game, had the operation on Friday in New York at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The team said his timeline to return to basketball activity will be updated in about six weeks, which means he could even longer.
The 30-year-old Love played in Cleveland’s first four games before the pain became intolerable. He underwent tests this week and said doctors were still trying to determine the best course of action. Love said the injury became so severe he was having trouble walking.
Love’s injury and extended recovery are going to make things even tougher on a team that is 1-7 and regrouping after coach Tyronn Lue was fired Sunday. Cleveland is trying to develop young players while staying competitive, but with Love out it’s going to be even harder.
Love signed a $120 million, four-year extension with the club last summer shortly after James left as a free agent. Love has missed 45 games because of injuries over the past two seasons. The five-time All-Star averaged 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in the first four games.
The Cavaliers say an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by former assistant coach Jim Boylan is “frivolous” and a “shameless cash grab.” Boylan filed a claim Thursday. The team did not pick up its contract option last summer on the 63-year-old Boylan, who spent five seasons with the team working on staffs under David Blatt and Tyronn Lue. In his lawsuit, Boylan’s attorney provided the transcript of a voicemail left by Lue telling him the team was moving in a different direction. Boylan also contends general manager Koby Altman told him owner Dan Gilbert wanted a younger coach. On Friday, the Cavs released a strongly worded statement contesting Boylan’s lawsuit and said it will “seek immediate dismissal of this disappointing, unwarranted and baseless claim.”