Minnesota's Kevin Love, arguably the best power forward in the NBA, is not expected to play Saturday when the Thunder visits the Target Center for a 7 p.m. contest. Love officially is listed as “sidelined indefinitely.”
Love spent Wednesday night in a Denver hospital after sustaining a mild concussion and neck strain when he was elbowed in the head by Nuggets forward JaVale McGee. Love missed Thursday night's 95-82 loss at home against the Los Angeles Clippers.
NBA concussion rules required Love to pass an exam from an independent neurologist before he is cleared to play. Love is fourth in the NBA in scoring (26.0), second in rebounding (13.3) and second in minutes played (39).
Love is just one of several Minnesota players suffering from injuries.
Point guard Luke Ridnour also missed Thursday's game with an ankle injury and is listed as doubtful against OKC. Reserve guard Wayne Ellington (back spasms) is listed as questionable. Center Darko Milicic (hamstring) is listed as doubtful.
Point guard Ricky Rubio was lost for the season last month with a knee injury. Starting point guard Jose Barea (groin) and center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) recently came off injuries.
The Timberwolves listed eight players on their injury report for Thursday's game.
“It can't get any worse, man,” said Barea, who received eight stitches to his lip after a collision late in the first half against the Clippers. “It can't get any worse.”
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said he's never seen anything like it in his 20-year coaching career.
“It's just been one thing after the other,” Adelman told The Associated Press. “It seems like the way this season has gone, as a coach I took the first 40-something games and saw the progress we made and now I'm seeing it go in the other direction quickly.”
On March 12, the Minnesota Timberwolves owned a 22-21 record and were in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
One month later, they are riding an eight-game winning streak, have lost nine of their last 10 and are one of the league's most injury riddled franchises.