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Cavs' Kevin Love to Return from Calf Injury vs. Pelicans, Last Played Dec. 27

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love (0) drives against the Boston Celtics in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced veteran forward Kevin Love will play in Friday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Love has only played two games this season, missing most of the first half of the year with a calf injury.

Cleveland returns from the All-Star break with a 14-22 record, currently third-worst in the Eastern Conference.

Love can provide a boost as a five-time All-Star and an experienced player on a mostly young roster.

The 32-year-old has dealt with several injuries in recent seasons but still averaged 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 2019-20 while his .550 effective field-goal rate was the second-highest of his career.

After initially hurting his calf during the preseason, he had 15 points and nine rebounds in his first start of the year but lasted only nine minutes in his second game before missing the next two months of action. It created question marks about his future with the team, but he continued to work his way back to the court.

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Love returned to practice in February and was able to do "quite a bit of the live stuff."

It took a few more weeks, but the big man will now be available for games as the team looks to climb the standings.

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The Cavaliers are holding out center Andre Drummond in the hope of trading him while giving more minutes to Jarrett Allen, but there is still clearly playing time available for Love going forward.

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