Forward Kevin Love was ruled out of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season opener, scheduled for Wednesday against the visiting Charlotte Hornets.
Love strained his right calf during the Cavs’ first preseason game, and he hasn’t practiced since getting hurt. The power forward missed 69 games over the two previous seasons due to injury and maintenance. Cleveland has finished each of the past two seasons with just 19 wins.
Love, 32, has averaged 18.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game over his 12-year NBA career. A five-time All-Star, Love is about to begin his seventh season in Cleveland, where he helped LeBron James and Kyrie Irving win the 2016 NBA championship.
Love likely will be replaced in the starting lineup by Larry Nance Jr., who averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in 56 games (10 starts) last season.
“(Love) is progressing and he’s doing treatment around the clock and he’s getting better,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said recently. “But we’ll be monitoring and we’ll protect him as much as we possibly can. I know he wants to play. We just need to make sure he’s healthy first.”