Kevin Love shows 'continued healing and progress,' doctor says

The Cleveland Cavaliers said Thursday that All-Star forward Kevin Love has been cleared to progress in his rehab from left foot surgery after receiving positive results in a follow-up consultation earlier this week.

In a statement released Thursday night, the Cavs said that Love met with Dr. Martin O'Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City on Wednesday, and that O'Malley's evaluation revealed "continued healing and progress."

There is still no timetable for his return.

"[Love] will now progress with select basketball activities as directed by the Cavaliers' medical team and continue to advance his therapy and strength and conditioning program," the team said. "A return to play timeline will be established as progression through this phase of his rehabilitation is complete."

Love had surgery to rectify a painful big toe injury on his left foot on Nov. 2. The injury had bothered him since the preseason opener and affected his ability to walk.

The team initially said he was expected to miss about six weeks, but Love told ESPN's The Jump in late November that his absence likely would extend to "sometime after the new year."

Love has played in four games this season, averaging 19 points and 13.5 rebounds. He missed 45 games because of injuries the previous two seasons. The five-time All-Star signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension in the summer.

The Cavs have struggled without Love and are just 8-30 entering Friday's home matchup against Utah.

"He's been gone all year," coach Larry Drew said. "We haven't had him all year. Kevin is, let's face it, he's our main guy. He's our go-to guy. He's the guy we're going to put the ball in his hands at the end of the game. He does so much because he has that, being a guy his size he can step up to the 3-point line. You can post him. He gets to the foul line.

"Getting him back, it will be a great welcome. Hopefully it will be sooner than later."

Love continues to be mentioned in trade rumors in advance of February's deadline, something that Drew said was natural at this time of year.

"I understand the nature of this business. Anybody can be traded," he said. "I've been in this league long enough where I've seen that happen. I think any deal that makes sense for any team -- sure, they'll be willing to pull the trigger. But that's just the nature of our business. Around this time is always an exciting time because you start hearing names floating around, all the possibilities and the probables and the 'what ifs,' and 99 percent of the time none of it happens."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.