INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Tyronn Lue is ready to take a step toward rejoining the Cavaliers.
Cleveland’s coach, who has taken a medical absence from the team, is expected to attend Friday night’s game against New Orleans as an observer. Lue will not sit on the bench, but he will be inside Quicken Loans Arena after missing two weeks.
Lue said he experienced chest pains and “other troubling symptoms” when the 40-year-old announced he was stepping away from the team on March 19 to address his health. He missed two games earlier in the year with illness.
Lue, who took over the Cavs midway through the 2016 season and guided them to an NBA championship, last coached in a game on March 17 in Chicago. But after the first half, he remained in the locker room for the rest of the game.
Associate head coach Larry Drew has been coaching the Cavaliers in Lue’s absence and led them to a 5-1 record.
It’s still not clear when Lue will return to the team in a full capacity, but he could be back in the near future.
Lue’s illness is just one of many setbacks this season for the Cavs, who thanks to LeBron James, have managed to stay playoff-bound despite numerous injuries and a roster-flipping makeover at the trade deadline.
Cleveland has won six of seven heading into Friday’s matchup with the Pelicans.
The Cavs could have All-Star forward Kevin Love back after he missed one game with a concussion suffered Tuesday in Miami. Love, whose front tooth was damaged when he was inadvertently struck in the face, participated in the team’s morning shootaround and the team upgraded him to “questionable.”
Love’s status will depend on how he recovers following the workout. As long as he passes the tests required under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines, he’ll be cleared to play.
Love averaged 20.3 points and 10 rebounds in his first four games after missing seven weeks with a broken left hand.
Forward Kyle Korver rejoined the team following his younger brother’s funeral, but he’s not ready to play because of a sore right foot.
J.R. Smith missed the shootaround with an illness and is questionable.
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