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The Wolves' Michael Beasley (8) shot against Golden State's Brandon Rush.

Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

Bothersome toe sidelines Beasley

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Star Tribune
  • March 23, 2012 - 1:58 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY - Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's routine hasn't changed much in recent days: Rehab his sprained big toe, talk with training staff, play that night but never make it to the second half.

After Wednesday's loss at San Antonio, that might change.

"No discussion," he said. "I definitely need to rest it. I wake up in the morning and do treatment, and then do more treatment and it starts to feel good. As soon as I get to walking on it, playing, jumping, it swells up on me. I've just got to give it a couple days of rest."

Allowing the toe time to rest presumably will start with Friday's game at Oklahoma City, where the Wolves end a seven-game, 13-day trip that has left them 2 1/2 games out of the West's eighth and final playoff spot.

Beasley has played just 11 and 10 minutes in his past two games and scored a combined 12 points off the bench. He first injured the toe on the road trip's first game, March 12 at Phoenix, when an opponent landed on him and bent the toe backward.

"Starts swelling up, starts hurting real bad," Beasley said. "You could tell on defense that I was babying it. I was sort of a liability, so I just took myself out."

Beasley's absence would leave the Wolves without him, starting center Nikola Pekovic and starting point guard Ricky Rubio. Pekovic returned to Minnesota Wednesday to rehab his hurting ankles and Rubio underwent season-ending knee surgery Wednesday in Colorado.

"We need to get him right," teammate Kevin Love said of Beasley. "We need everybody 100 percent so we can head forward these last 18 games."

Small ball

The Thunder on Wednesday signed former Lakers guard Derek Fisher, put him to work right away that night against the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks plans to play him and All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook together regularly every game.

That means you might see some small backcourts Friday night if Wolves coach Rick Adelman also chooses to use Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea together. Those two finished Monday's victory at Golden State Monday and played limited minutes together Wednesday at Golden State, but Adelman says he'd like to play them more if matchups allow because he needs better ball handlers in the game.

So who's the point guard and who's the shooting guard in that configuration?

"We just kind of take turns," said Ridnour, who's more the shooting guard when he plays with Barea, just as he was when he played with Rubio. "We just feed off each other. We let each other make plays. It's nice to have two ball handlers out there. It helps."

Going home

Thirteen days on the road is a long time when you're a new daddy.

Just ask guard Barea, who has stayed connected with his 5-week-old son through texts from his girlfriend.

"She sends me pictures, like 10 pictures a day, and we talk a lot," Barea said. "Just so I can see how he's doing. It's good to know he's OK. Being gone, it's a long time, but, hey, it's part of the job. I just want to get back home to see my baby."

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