Slew of ankle injuries keeps Wolves roster in flux

  • Article by: Jerry Zgoda
  • Star Tribune
  • October 9, 2007 - 11:38 PM

Three of the five players acquired from Boston in July for Kevin Garnett nursed ankle injuries Tuesday in London, and all three -- Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair -- are considered questionable for today's exhibition game against their former team.

Jefferson and Green both landed wrong on an ankle during Tuesday's practice at the fancy, new O2 Arena. Telfair hurt an ankle in practice Monday.

"We've had a run of ankles," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "Nothing serious, but we've got to make sure we're doing the right thing. I understand guys obviously want to play [against their former team], but we've got to be smart about not having setbacks with guys who shouldn't be playing."

Injury updates

Rashad McCants has practiced the past two days after missing Saturday's exhibition opener because of a sore hamstring and is expected to play today. ... Second-year forward Craig Smith's sprained ankle has healed quickly enough that Wittman said he could see his first exhibition action today in limited situations. ... Marko Jaric missed Saturday's game because of a bum ankle, but Wittman said Tuesday that Jaric is ready and available to play today against the Celtics.

Trade chatter

The Boston Globe reported that the Celtics are one of five teams to which Timberwolves veteran forward Juwan Howard would like to be traded. Somebody asked Wittman on Tuesday if another trade with the Celtics -- which would be the Wolves' third in less than two years -- was forthcoming.

"Who in the hell are they going to give us? KG back?" Wittman said. "Their roster is pretty limited. No, I don't anticipate anything of that nature."

The numbers game

Minor injuries might solve the problem for him. If not, Wittman said designated players will not see action during exhibition games because the team's current 17-man roster is too big.

"I don't think you can get a good look when you play 15 guys," Wittman said. "Certain guys won't play every night."

A second opinion

NBA regular-season games in Europe are coming, league Commissioner David Stern told reporters in Rome on Monday. Don't count Wittman, his team about to conclude a 10-day training camp trip to Istanbul and London, as a big fan of the idea. He said it'd be unfair to ask a team to travel across time zones back to the United States to resume the NBA schedule against opponents who didn't have to trek to Europe and back.

"Everybody would have to come over here and not just a particular number of teams," he said Tuesday.

Jerry Zgoda •

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