Updated 07:15 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 22, 2021

Kevin Love Hopes to Play With Cavs Next Season Following Left Shoulder Injury

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Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love said he will playing again on the court at the start of the 2015-2016 season after obtaining a successful operation for a season-ending shoulder injury.

It is unfortunate that Love will not be part of the Cavs' journey to the NBA Finals this year but the player said in an ESPN report that he is "happy with how things are progressing" with his recovery.

"I truly haven't even thought about it, but as I mentioned, I expect to be suiting up by Game 1 of next year," Love said.

He expressed his intention to still be part of the Cavs since he has one remaining year with the team as stipulated in his contract.

During the first round of Game 4 against the Boston Celtics, Love dislocated his shoulder after Kelly Olynyk pulled down on his left arm. The Celtics center was suspended for a game, but he is set to serve it at the start of next season.

After the injury-causing game, Love tagged the incident as a "bush-league play" but it is obvious that he is now softer when talking about the issue.

"I initially was very emotional about the play. I think everybody thinks, 'Oh, he's going to be able to come back, pop it right in,' but at the time when it happened, I kind of knew. And about a week went by, reached out to Kelly, sent him a text and said, 'Hey, it's all good. It was a tough play.' And we just move on from there," Love told ESPN.

Yahoo Sports has learned that the Cavs defeated the Celtics despite Love's absence and also swept their way into the finals effortlessly when they battled it out against the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks.

Love mostly sat on the bench and saw his team perform their best.

''I had really wanted this, wanted to be a part of this run,. So, it's something that I look at as an opportunity. I think all injuries are. I'm super happy for these guys, proud of these guys. And there's times where I've felt down because of my shoulder, and they've been here to pick me back up. And that's kind of how it's been the whole year," Love explained.

He has reportedly been given clearance to travel for the NBA Finals and be with his teammates who are bound to go head-to-head against the Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors.

''I can't necessarily clap, but I can scream,'' Love quipped.

His absence in the games leading to the finals can get really frustrating for Love but he said via New York Post that he views his injury as a motivation to be with his current team again.

"Motivation in general. We have guys who have stepped up not only in my absence, but different guys have gone down and played unbelievable. You've seen the emergence of Thompson, who has been a monster. Shump [Iman Shumpert] has been playing great. J.R. [Smith]. We've had guys who have stepped up. We've had the foundation all along," he explained.

Love noted that he could now qualify as a small forward after he lost 15 pounds while rehabilitating his shoulder. He is set to undergo shoulder evaluation in New York for a few weeks.

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