By Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan

INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – Kevin Love took another big step closer to returning to the Cavs.

Love banged bodies with assistant coaches as he worked on pick-and-pops Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts for nearly half an hour after practice wrapped up.

It was Love’s most rigorous workout since undergoing surgery to remove loose bodies from his left knee on Feb. 14 and it came a day after a 3-on-3 workout.

“I’d love to be back in front of our fans obviously when I come back whether it’s [Thursday] or after this trip,” Love said afterwards. “I don’t really know, but I’d like to be back this weekend but I just don’t know if it’ll be then or next week or I imagine at the very latest after we come back.”

The Cavs open up a 4-game road trip with a back-to-back starting Saturday night in L.A. against the Clippers followed by the Lakers Sunday at Staples Center.

Cavs officials were anxious to see how Love reacted to Tuesday’s work and based on what took place Wednesday they have to be thrilled.

“He reacted well,” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “Today, after the practice [Tuesday], he said he felt good. Hopefully he can continue progressing. So that’s a good sign for us.”

Love was originally projected to be back in 6 weeks, around March 28, following the procedure but finds himself ahead of schedule, which he doesn’t see as a major surprise.

“I always like to think that way and be optimistic about it,” Love said. “You gotta listen to the docs, especially when we’re a team that’s looking to go very far and go all the way and has championship aspirations, but you definitely want to come back when you’re ready and have the proper rest and proper healing time.”

Love, who is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds this season, has been sidelined since Feb. 11. The Cavs have gone 7-6 without him.

“I know we haven’t played our best basketball, but there’s a good energy around the team,” Love said. “I’m 28 years old and I feel like I’m just coming into the league again because I’m so antsy to get back.”

Love isn’t the only Cav on the mend.

Kyle Korver, who has missed the last 4 games with soreness in his left foot, practiced Wednesday as well.

“He said he felt good so whenever the medical staff clears him he’ll be ready to go,” Lue said.

The 44-22 Cavs will host the Utah Jazz Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.


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