By Rob Mahoney
January 05, 2013

Kevin Love re-injured his hand in a game against the Nuggets on January 3rd. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)Kevin Love re-injured his hand in a game against the Nuggets on January 3rd. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Rob Mahoney

One would think that the Minnesota Timberwolves would have respite from their rampant injuries at some point this season, but misfortune after misfortune seems to befall the NBA's unluckiest franchise. According to a press release, the latest calamity comes with high stakes: Star forward Kevin Love has re-fractured a bone in his right hand, and will visit a specialist with the possibility of surgery looming. From the release:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) taken this afternoon at TRIA Orthopadedic Center revealed that forward Kevin Love suffered a re-fracture of his third metacarpal in his right hand. The injury occurred during the third quarter of Thursday's game at Denver.

Love will be examined by Dr. Andy Weiland, a hand specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, later this week. An update to Love’s status will be provided after that examination.

Love originally fractured his right hand in October and was expected to be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks. He wound up missing just four weeks.

As indicated by this release, there is not yet a timetable for Love's return. A potential surgery could significantly extend Love's recovery time, but even a more conservative treatment plan would likely still keep the Wolves' top per-game scorer and rebounder out of the lineup for weeks. This qualifies as miserable news even by Minnesota's unique, snakebitten standards; Love was still in the process of rebuilding his shooting release following his initial break, and now those efforts will need to be rebooted following more time away from the court.

To the Timberwolves' collective credit (and also to the credit of head coach Rick Adelman, who has done a fantastic job under the circumstances), they've posted a 6-5 record in games where Love was completely absent, and have actually fared slightly better overall when Love has been off the court according to But don't let that slice of data fool you; what the Wolves have been able to do without Love on the floor is an amazing achievement and a very temporary measure of success for a team still waiting to reach the height of its potential.

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