UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7:13 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to the Timberwolves' Twitter, Love will be in the starting lineup Wednesday night versus the Denver Nuggets:
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UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7:02 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
The Timberwolves will be feeling the love tonight! In a surprise announcement, it has been revealed that Kevin Love will be on the court Wednesday night. The Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski tweeted out the news.
Obviously, this is tremendous news for the Wolves, and well ahead of schedule.
Initial diagnosis on Kevin Love's powdery knuckles was a 5-to-6 week recovery. He's back in 35 days.— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) November 22, 2012
UPDATE: Sunday, Nov. 11 at 9:15 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Good news, Timberwolves. One half of the Love-Rubio team will be coming back at the beginning of December. According to a tweet by ESPN's Darren Wolfson, Love is making plans to be back in the lineup about eight weeks after his injury occured.
The locker room chatter between the two men suggest that Love is on schedule with rehab for his shooting hand. The Timberwolves are off to a good start without him, but will need him back in the lineup to be considered serious contenders later this season.
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UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:40 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reports Love won't need surgery on his injured hand. The timetable for his return to the Timberwolves lineup remains six-to-eight weeks, which is called conservative in the report.
It's a massive loss for Minnesota. Love took his game to the next level last season and was looking to build off that success. The team can't expect to replace his elite productivity, so it's just a matter of finding a way to survive until he's ready to return.
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UPDATE: Thursday, October 18 at 3:58 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
Kevin Love released an official statement on Thursday, offering an explanation into how the injury happened and expressing confidence in his teammates ability to keep the Timberwolves' ship afloat in his absence.
Via Inside Hoops:
Yesterday, I had a post-practice commitment and decided to work out at my home with my personal trainer before heading to Target Center. While doing various pushups, including knuckle pushups, which are part of my regular workout routine, I hurt my hand. I immediately knew something was wrong and called head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam.
Although I’m disappointed that this injury happened, I will work extremely hard to stay in shape and return to the court as quickly as possible. We have added a lot of depth to our roster this season, and I have complete confidence in my teammates and coaching staff that they will step up and we will be successful during this time. I’m looking forward to supporting our team and helping out any way I can until I get back on the court.
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UPDATE: Thursday, October 18 at 2:05 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
Before Timberwolves' fans go running for the hills, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Love might be able to return faster than expected.
After meeting with doctor in N.Y., there appears real chance Kevin Love could return within 5 to 6 weeks from broken hand, source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 18, 2012
On the potential list of strangest injuries ever, Timberwolves' beat writer Alex Conover is reporting that Love actually broke his hand while doing "knuckle push-ups."
According to @twolves_pr , Kevin Love broke his hand doing "knuckle push-ups" no surgery required.— Alex Conover (@alex_cono) October 18, 2012
Given that Love is the most important player the Timberwolves have, and the biggest reason they might contend for a playoff spot, he should be doing push-ups the way normal people do them.
Either way, what's done is done. All that can happen now is Love does the work to get on the court as soon as possible, or else this team is going to struggle to make a playoff push.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, October 17 at 4:55 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune has more details on the injury:
Love broke two bones—the third and fourth metacarpals—in his right hand, his shooting hand.
He will see Dr. Andy Weiland, a hand specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, on Thursday for further evaluation.
With Ricky Rubio already shelved, there couldn't be much worse news for the Wolves than losing their best player for two months to start the year as well. A very promising Wolves team already has a lot of adversity it will need to battle through in 2012-13.
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The Timberwolves tweeted out the info:
Obviously, since the regular season has yet to tip off, there is still plenty of time for Love to recover, get back on the court and help his budding team make a playoff run.
Using the shortest option presented on the recovery timetable, Love will be out until the start of December. That means Love would miss 15 games, which is nearly 20 percent of the season.
It's not just about the games he will miss either. When he returns, he will have to get up to game speed, and the Timberwolves will have to make a serious adjustment to how they are playing. Love commands the ball, and he allows the Timberwolves to play a different style when he is on the court.
Love's value to this team is almost impossible to overstate. Last season, he was inured on April 11 after playing just eight minutes against the Denver Nuggets. The Wolves went on to lose that game and six of the next seven to close out the season.
The Wolves will hope to fare far better this time without their injured star, but they will again have to do so without star point guard Ricky Rubio, who is potentially out until January.
However, the Wolves added former All-Star Brandon Roy in the offseason, and even though injuries have kept him from being as dominant as he once was, he is still capable of getting the ball in the bucket, and he will help pick up some of the scoring the Wolves lose with Love's injury.
To add a silver lining to this otherwise frighteningly dark cloud, this injury will free up some minutes for second-year pro Derrick Williams. He averaged 8.8 points in 21.5 minutes a game last year.
Williams didn't do anything to command more playing time when Love went down at the end of last season, but this will give him the opportunity to assert himself at the start of his second season.
Still, when it comes to the beginning of this season, Minnesota isn't going to be getting a lot of love in the win/loss column.