Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported the following of Love’s problems with his hand this season:
Love broke the third and fourth metacarpal bones in his right hand while doing knuckle pushups at his home in October. The two-time All-Star missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from the injury. Love, however, re-fractured the third metacarpal bone in the Timberwolves' victory at Denver on Jan. 3.
Spears also notes that Love is scheduled for surgery next week and will be out for “eight to 10 weeks.”
This is a major blow to the Timberwolves, who will struggle to replace Love’s 18.3 points and 14 rebounds per night. Love has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons and was a member of the gold medal-winning USA Olympic team this summer.
He is a budding superstar, and the Timberwolves’ chances to reach the playoffs likely hinge on him being able to come back from the injury and finish the season strong.
During his absence, the team will turn to Ricky Rubio, who is still slowly working his way back from a torn ACL that he suffered last season, and Nikola Pekovic.
Rubio has averaged 4.2 points and 4.7 assists in his limited action on the floor this season. Meanwhile, Pekovic has been a force in the paint with 16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season.
These players will need to elevate their level of play for the team to have a chance at a playoff run when Love returns.