Cleveland Cavaliers all-star power forward Kevin Love affirmed his return to the Cavs lineup. Barring any setbacks, Love hopes to return during the middle of January.

On Nov. 2, 2018, Love underwent toe surgery. Despite averaging 19 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, he’s only appeared in four games.

With the Cavs season in near collapse, Love’s return won’t likely mean anything for the team. According to reports, Love still plans to play and the Cavs have no desire to trade him.

“Love, who is 30 and has missed at least 20 games due to injury in each of the last three seasons, wants to play,” Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported. “Like the rest of the team’s veterans, he was upset by the turn in direction of the franchise and spent some time away for the first few weeks following surgery, but wants to stay in Cleveland and has not asked for a trade.”

In addition, Vardon reported the Cavs haven’t held discussions about a potential Love trade, but the organization’s mind could change. If the organization finds a viable trade, they’ll likely pull the trigger. As a rebuilding franchise, Cleveland needs all the draft assets and young talent they can get. Considering his age and injury history, Love shouldn’t be a long-term option, as much as it’s difficult to say.

Under normal circumstances, a team like the 2018-2019 Cavs would decide to sit their star player out for the duration of the season, considering the team’s performance ranks among the league’s worst, both offensively and defensively. Love wants to return to action, despite the abysmal record Cleveland currently has.

During the offseason, Love signed a four-year/$120 million extension. Both Love and the Cavs organization held a positive outlook for the future, despite the departure of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs hoped to maintain a semblance of success with their veteran leaders, but that plan quickly fell apart.

Cleveland traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz, JR Smith left the team and demanded a fresh start with a better team, George Hill has battled injuries, while Channing Frye hasn’t seen the floor. The only veteran that’s produced thus far is Tristan Thompson, who could become an interesting name to focus on when the trade deadline nears.

While his production could decline, the Cavs still hold firm their commitment to Love. As of now, Love will return to action at an undecided date in mid-January.

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