That's all folks: Knee surgery will end Kevin Love's disappointing season
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Kevin Love's season to forget is officially finished, but the cause isn't the broken hand that sidelined him for much of 2012-13.
Instead, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced Monday night the forward will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee to remove a buildup of scar tissue. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City later this week.
A typical recovery time for this type of procedure is four-to-six weeks.
David Kahn, the Timberwolves' president of basketball operations, revealed during a conference call that Love felt pain in his knee during his brief return after his first hand surgery but didn't think it was substantial enough to have it examined. The pain, however, persisted and ended up holding him back.
"Kevin tried very hard these last few weeks to get back in time to help us finish the season," Kahn said. "Frankly, the issue wasn't his hand, I think he has been shooting the ball very well in his workouts, the issue has been his knee.
"The issue isn't a big one, it is something that will be easily addressed, but it was causing him enough pain and concern and the decision that we all made was that the best course of action was to have this procedure now so that he can have a better offseason and return to the court. We waited until the last possible moment hoping that he could play again, but at the end of the day we all thought this was the best thing to do."
Love has missed the past 47 games after breaking the third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Jan. 3 at Denver. He underwent surgery on Jan. 15 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Love, a two-time All-Star, originally suffered a fracture of his third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Oct. 17 while working out, and missed the first nine games of the season.
Until Monday, it was assumed that Love wasn't progressing as expected in his recovery from the second hand surgery. Kahn said Love is expected to follow up with his hand doctor on Wednesday and have the plate removed.
For the season, Love played in a career-low 18 games and averaged 18.3 points and 14 rebounds. His previous career-low for games played in a full 82-game season was 60 in 2009-10.
The Wolves will miss the playoffs for a ninth season in a row this spring and are sitting in last place in the Northwest Division with a 29-47 record.
Love, who made no secret of the fact he wasn't happy last year when the Wolves gave him a four-year contract (with an opt-out after three), instead of a maximum five-year deal, also created a controversy this season when he criticized the organization in a story published on Yahoo! Sports.
Love can become a free agent after the 2014-15 season if he so desires.
"He did have a very significant offseason (last summer playing in the Olympics) and he told me again that he feels very poorly about this year and it has been a lost season for him," Kahn said. "He is very hopeful that he has a huge offseason and he wants to make amends next season for what has been a lost season."
Asked if this season could best be described as a disappointment for Love, Kahn said: "Disappointment will suffice for now. I can't think of a better word. He just feels very badly about it, which is understandable."