As summer progressed, Wolves guard Martell Webster felt more stiffness and pain in his back and more worry because of it. A trip to the doctor brought the bad news: Webster needed surgery again.
Webster had microdiscectomy surgery in Portland Sept. 28 -- his second such surgery on the same area in his spine in 13 months -- and is out indefinitely.
Webster was moving well while posing for pictures at the team's media day Friday, but he hasn't done much running and hasn't done anything basketball-related at all. He is hoping to be ready to return to action by early January.
"I wasn't really comfortable with the way it felt," said Webster, who missed the first 24 games of last season after having his first surgery Oct. 25, 2010.
Webster said he might have tried to come back too quickly the last time.
"I was eager to get back," he said. "I felt like not only was I letting myself down, I was letting the city down by not playing. So I might have rushed back a little too early."The Generals?
The NBA's decision to void the trade that would have sent guard Chris Paul from New Orleans -- a franchise owned by the league -- to the L.A. Lakers was a ripe topic at Target Center on Friday. Many around the league believe the action was taken under pressure from small-market owners, particularly Cleveland's Dan Gilbert. In a well-circulated e-mail, Gilbert wondered whether 25 of the league's 30 teams should rename themselves the Washington Generals.
"We just got done arguing for four, five months," said Anthony Tolliver, the Wolves' union rep. "And everybody just wants to see basketball. And now this? Huge controversy."Looking ahead
Forward Michael Beasley wasn't interested in talking about the June 26 incident when, in the early morning hours, he was pulled over and ticketed for speeding and marijuana possession.
"I'm not here to talk about past issues," he said. When asked if he had anything to say to the fans, Beasley said, "Hi, fans."A difficult summer
Most players probably couldn't wait for the lockout to end. But Wolves guard Luke Ridnour needed the extra time. His wife, Katie, gave birth prematurely to twin boys 10 months ago. And for one of the babies, Kyson, there were pressing medical issues from the start. Ridnour missed some time last season to be with his family. Kyson spent his summer in the hospital.
"My son was in the hospital from May 9 to Sept. 9," Ridnour said. "We almost lost him for a little while. So to get him back and get him home -- I'm probably going to get choked up right now -- has been so special for my family."
Kyson is OK, and the family was able to move him back into their Seattle home.
"To see what we've been through, my wife and how strong she's been, it's been about family for me," Ridnour said.Hayes goes elsewhere
Free-agent center Chuck Hayes signed a four-year, $21 million-plus contract with Sacramento on Friday. The Wolves had pursued him and now likely will turn their search toward a ball-handling shooting guard. Jamal Crawford, Arron Afflalo, Nick Young, Jason Richardson, DeShawn Stevenson and Willie Green are still on the market or they could seek Houston's Kevin Martin in a trade.