MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Love has finally turned a corner in his recovery from a recent concussion, and the Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star says he’s ready to take the necessary tests to return to the court.
Love attended the game on Tuesday against Memphis, but watched from the locker room. He said he planned to take the league’s required concussion tests on Wednesday in hopes that he can be cleared to help a team that had lost 10 straight games heading into the night.
“I’ve never really had a head injury before,” said Love, who has missed four straight games after being knocked woozy in a game at Denver on April 11. “It’s just different. But I feel good. I feel like I’m good to go.”
Love wasn’t ready to say he would definitely play again this season. The injury plagued Timberwolves have been out of the playoff discussion for weeks, so there is no competitive incentive for him to return. With an injury as sensitive as a concussion, he wants to make sure that he is completely healthy before he comes back to reduce the risk of another one.
“If it’s worth it, and I feel good, then I’ll do it,” Love said.
The Timberwolves have said for the last week that they would play it cautious with the new face of their franchise. Love has had a breakthrough season, averaging 26 points and 13.3 rebounds a game, and even garnering some consideration for the MVP award when the Wolves were in the playoff hunt in early March.
But the team has been beset by injuries since then. Point guard Ricky Rubio is out with torn ligaments in his left knee and center Nikola Pekovic (ankle), guard Luke Ridnour (ankle), guard JJ Barea (groin) and forward Michael Beasley (toe) have all missed significant time as the team’s season has come apart.
Adelman said before the game he’d like Love and Ridnour to play again before the season is over, but only if they’re healthy. The coach said Ridnour might play Sunday against Golden State but acknowledged he’s “pretty pessimistic.” The team was also considering shutting down Pekovic for the rest of the season to get him ready for offseason surgery to remove bone spurs in his right ankle.
Love didn’t anticipate any issues with the concussion exam. He does not expect to make the trip to Detroit for their game against the Pistons on Thursday, but holds out hope he could be back for the Warriors on Sunday. If not, he will try to return for the season finale on April 26 against Denver.
“I’ll pass. It’s four steps. You have to do some cardio tests and some brain work. I’m assuming the cardio will go a lot better than the latter part,” Love deadpanned. “That’s always been the case.”
Love said he’s mostly been sleeping and resting since he was injured and that Tuesday was the first day felt symptom-free. The 23-year-old hasn’t touched his phone or watched television since he was hurt, except when he turned it on at halftime of the team’s game on Monday night. The Wolves trailed the Pacers 64-30 en route to their 25th straight loss in April, dating back to 2009.
“I haven’t been on my phone, I haven’t been on my computer, I haven’t been on TV,” Love said. “Although I did turn on the TV last night at halftime and immediately turned it back off.”
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