HOUSTON – Timberwolves forward Kevin Love knows the season is ticking away on him and he said before Friday’s game at Houston there’s a chance he won’t play again this season.
“I’d say that has crossed my mind, but as far as making a decision, I haven’t made that decision yet,” he said.
Love joined the team in Houston on its two-game trip that ended Friday night against the Rockets. He learned Wednesday in a visit to his New York City hand surgeon that his right shooting hand hasn’t yet healed enough for him to play.
He said he will have that hand scanned again in two to three weeks and the results will be sent to his surgeon, who will then determine if he can play the season’s final two to three weeks.
Love said he still hopes —and intends — to play the season’s final eight to 12 games.
“We’ll see what a guy like Glen says and see what D.K. and Coach says and we’ll probably all make a decision,” Love said, referring to team owner Glen Taylor, president of basketball operations David Kahn and coach Rick Adelman. “At the end of the day, the decision is still mine and I’d still like to go out there and join the team.
“The hand is great, my body feels great. It’s going to be a big offseason. Part of coming back [yet this season], you want to give the fans something, but you also want to do something for the team and yourself. You kind of want to see what you have here when you have a full team, and we really haven’t had that yet.”
Love said he was hopeful Dr. Michelle Carlson at the Hospital of Special Surgery would clear him for contact action on Wednesday, but “not surprised” when she didn’t. He said he expects to be able to play a game “fairly quickly” after he gets approval.
Love has broken his hand twice already this season, in October at home and in a January 3 game at Denver.
“It’s a doctor’s job to be cautious, especially when it’s the second time I’ve done it this year,” he said.
Wolves center Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain) and small forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained calf) missed their seventh and eighth consecutive games respectively on Friday.
Backup center Greg Stiemsma again started for Pekovic and Mickael Gelabale started for Kirilenko.
Adelman on Friday returned for the first time this season to Houston, where he coached for four seasons from 2007 to 2011.
“I think the people around the team are great and the fans, I miss that and everything else, but I don’t know who the players are,” he said referring to a team that has changed completely except for guard Aaron Brooks, who re-signed with the Rockets recently. “They’ve changed everything. I guess they brought Aaron back. That made me feel better. That’s someone I recognize over there.”
•Rockets star guard James Harden started and played on a foot sore enough that he wasn’t sure if he’d play.
But it didn’t appear to slow him down much as Harden scored 37 points on 8-for-16 shooting and 16-for-18 at the free throw line in 44 minutes of action.
Harden also had eight assists and seven rebounds.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale’s medical diagnosis of Harden’s throbbing foot: “It hurts.”
•A parting editorial comment from Adelman on injuries that have recently hit the New York Knicks and L.A. Lakers: “I like how the national press was concerned about the Knicks and the Lakers losing some starters. Well, c’mon, try it all year, not just a couple games.”