Jan 9, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
The basketball gods are not done taking out their vengeance on the Minnesota Timberwolves just yet.
Love missed the start of the season recovering from a broken hand he suffered doing knuckle pushups at home. He returned averaging 18.3 points and 14 rebounds a game, but the hand injury clearly still bothered him as he shot just 35.2 percent.
Then last Thursday he re-broke his hand in a fluke incident while playing the Denver Nuggets.
Eight weeks would have him returning in mid-March, with less than a month to go in the season. How hard he pushes to get back may depend on where the Timberwolves are in the standings — right now they are the nine seed in the West, 1.5 games back of the eight seed Nuggets. The West is tight with just 5.5 games separating the six seed Rockets and the 11 seed Lakers. If by the middle of March the Timberwolves have slipped out of playoff contention there would be no motive to rush Love back.
Then again, they have hung in this long with limited contributions from Love and Ricky Rubio (returning from an ACL tear plus having back spasms). So hope should not die. That mountain just looks a lot harder to climb right now.