Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Posts about Wolves guards

Eye injury will keep Love out of the lineup Sunday

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 22, 2012 - 2:09 PM

 Just as he appeared to have rediscovered his shooting touch, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has had another injury setback.

Love got poked in the eye late in the Wolves’ victory over Oklahoma City Thursday at Target Center. He will not travel with the team to New York and will miss Sunday’s game against the Knicks.

“He has to be careful the next few days to make sure he doesn’t do anything that causes pressure in his eye,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “It’s an unfortunate thing that happened near the end of the game. But, hopefully, if he rests and doesn’t do anything, we’ll see how he is after Christmas.”

It is the latest in a series of injuries and illnesses for Love, who missed the team’s first nine games after breaking two bones in his right hand while doing knuckle pushups at his home. Love also injured his thumb in a victory at New Orleans Dec. 14. He was set to return the following night, but missed Ricky Rubio’s return – and the Wolves’ overtime victory over Dallas – with an illness.

The hope is Love will be able to return for the Wolves’ home game with Houston Wednesday.

 

In other news:

--Guard Brandon Roy returned, full-time, to practice Saturday for the first time since Nov. 19 arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He said he felt good, and Adelman said he looked good. Adelman said a timetable for Roy’s return to action could come after he takes part in another high-intensity workout following Wednesday’s game.

--Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said the team worked out a player Saturday and would work out another on Wednesday, but did not disclose the names of those players. The Wolves are looking for a player who can play both the small forward and shooting guard position in the wake to injuries to Malcolm Lee and Josh Howard.

--Kahn said Lee is contemplating surgery on his injured knee, but hasn’t made a final decision yet. Lee was in New York this past week meeting with specialists, who recommended surgery, Kahn said. In any case, Kahn said Lee is likely done for the season.

--Both Kahn and Adelman said Rubio has not suffered any setbacks and could see his minutes increase, as early as Sunday.

 

 

That’s about it right now. Have a good weekend.

 

Decision on Rubio could come Saturday morning

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 13, 2012 - 2:12 PM

 It appears, as Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Wednesday night, that the goal remains to have Ricky Rubio make his debut Saturday against Dallas at Target Center.

Not that anybody is anywhere near to confirming that.

After Thursday’s very light, no-contact practice, Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn, coach Rick Adelman and head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam met with Rubio courtside. But Adelman wasn’t revealing anything about that meeting.

“It’s like I told you last night,” he said. “Just evaluating it every day, and we’ll see what comes, you know?”

And that prompted what has become the usual round of questions circulating around the Rubio issue.

Does he look ready? Won’t know until he plays, Adelman said, but he hasn’t had any setbacks in practice.

Adelman said Rubio is being tested every day, and that a decision on whether or not he plays Saturday could be made that morning.

“There are a lot of things we’ve talked about, if he plays,” Adelman said. “What’s the schedule going forward from there? It’s just not Saturday, it’s how much do we want to play him?”

Starting Friday the Wolves have four games in five nights. After a day off the Wolves then hit a stretch with three games in seven days.

Still, Adelman said there have been discussions about how much Rubio will play to start with, how he will be used at first – off the bench or starting, for example.

“You have to look at it not just from Ricky’s point of view but from the whole team’s point of view and how it affects the other guys,” Adelman said. “We certainly have talked about if he starts, how do we do that? If he doesn’t start, how do I play him? If they put a minute limitation on him, how do we use those minutes the best way for him and the team? Those are all things we’ve talked about and as soon as we decide he’s going to play, then I’ll have to make that decision.”

 

 

Roy speaks

Brandon Roy, who had Nov. 19 surgery on his right knee, said he didn’t consider retirement when it was decided he’d have surgery.

Roy took part in Thursday’s practice, which doesn’t mean much. The team did little more than shoot. But the fact Roy said retiring didn’t cross his mind was interesting.

“No,” he said when asked about reports that he’d considered leaving the game again. “A few people asked me that, and I don’t pay attention much to the media. I don’t really read that stuff. But I don’t know where that could have come from. But no, I never thought about walking away. It was, for me, just do I want to go through another procedure or do I want to play through it. that was more my question than walking away.”

Roy said he’s been able to some running, participate in team warm-ups and do shooting drills. He has been spending a lot of time in the weight room working to get the strength back in his right leg.

That said, Roy did admit to some concern about the injury – which happened late in preseason – and the process of surgery and recovery. “There is always, I think, that small concern in the back of your mind,” he said. “But it felt good this week, and I think I’m trying to push it because I want to get to next week and see where it’s really at. But the good thing is it feels good. It feels like that nagging feeling I was feeling there early in the season, it feels like it’s gone. ‘’

It will likely be a while before Roy can really test the knee. Given the Wolves upcoming schedule, the team probably won’t have another full-contact practice until Dec. 21.

 

 

Etc.

--Malcolm Lee (hyper-extended right knee) did not practice and did not travel with the team to New Orleans.

--Forward/guard Josh Howard, who missed Wednesday’s game with an illness, should be ready to play Friday, Adelman said. 

Rubio will not play tonight vs. Denver

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: December 12, 2012 - 11:39 AM

Ricky Rubio will not make his long-awaited season debut tonight against Denver, the team says.

The next most likely return date is Saturday at home against Dallas, not Friday at New Orleans.

That's so he can make his return at home and so he doesn't have to face back to back games.

Kevin Love did address the media after shootaround with comments about what he said in yesterday's Yahoo! story and I'll have video and a new blog up shortly.

 

Kudos for the Wolves backcourt

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 4, 2012 - 9:41 PM

 I can’t remember the last time I watched a Wolves game when the backcourt, from start to finish, played better.  Maybe back in the 2003-04 season, when Sammy Cassell was rolling and Troy Hudson, though usually hurt, had an occasional strong game.

Malcom Lee didn’t miss a shot, didn’t turn the ball over and had an assist and 10 points. Luke Ridnour had 10 points and four assists. And then there was J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved. Barea had his first double-double of the season and Shved hit four of seven three-pointers on the way to a team-high 17 points.

The Wolves won easily, on the road against a winning team, on a night when Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic combined to shoot 5-for-17. It’s nights like this that makes you wonder how good this team can be once Ricky Rubio is back. Not to mention Andrei Kirilenko, who stayed home with back spasms.

“Malcolm and Luke got us going,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “Then J.J. and Alexey were great.”

That about sums this one up. Here are some other observations from tonight’s action:

 

--I think the fact that four of the five Wolves starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter will help the team tomorrow in Boston.

--I think Love, whose double-double streak ended at six after he shot 2-for-10, will have a bigger night Wednesday playing against Kevin Garnett.

--Josh Howard continues to improve as he gets his legs under him. He played a season-high 29:01, got his first double-double since April 10, 2009 and hit on seven of 12 shots {two of three three-pointers).

 

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back at you prior to Wednesday’s game with Boston. Have a good night. 

Lee returns to the lineup

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 4, 2012 - 11:49 AM

    PHILADELPHIA -- Malcolm Lee, who sat out the Timberwolves’ victory over Milwaukee Friday with a groin injury, is healthy and should start at the shooting guard spot tonight against Philadelphia.

 

 That would mean J.J. Barea would return to his position as coming off the bench to lead the second unit at point guard. It also gives coach Rick Adelman another good perimeter defensive player.

 Lee said he’l l have to monitor the injury going forward. “I think it happened because I got a contusion in one of the games, and I started compensating,” he said after Tuesday’s morning shootaround. “And that’s how I pulled {the groin muscle}.”

 With all the injuries, Lee has started about half of the team’s games this season. And while he’s still looking to become a regular contributor on the offensive end, his defense is something Adelman can rely on – and something Lee takes pride in. Night after night he is defending at one of the most difficult positions on the court.

 “Every game they give us a scouting report on tendencies,” Lee said. “I Just like to go over that and watch some film on it, know what they like to do. But I pretty much guard everybody the same – force them to their weak side -- and I try to body them. I don’t like to give them room.”

  

Here are some other items from today’s pre-game shoot:

 --The bug that hit Kevin Love proved to be a bit more tenacious than he expected. Love said he lost nearly 10 pounds during the process. He said he’s only been able to keep food down for the last 24 hours and didn’t get his appetite back until this morning.

 But Love – who missed the first part of the season with broken bones in his right hand – said he was finally able to return to the weight room for the first time on Monday. Now it’s a matter of getting his weight back up and his strength back. He’s not there yet.

 “It felt good to get back in the weight room after a six- or seven-week absence,” he said. “The hand needs to get there, I need to get my legs back under me. Hopefully, in a couple weeks, I won’t have to talk about that any more, I’ll be back in my rhythm.”

 --J.J. Barea said his left mid-foot sprain is still not 100 percent, and that it affects him every time he pushes off the foot to make a move or to attack the basket. “It lets me play,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get there in the next couple weeks,” he said. “I think it’s improving, maybe a little bit at a time, but it’s slow. I’m waking up every day feeling a little better.”

 --Wolves’ president of basketball operations David Kahn was asked if the team would consider a brief stint in the NBA Development League as a part of Ricky Rubio’s return from knee surgery. “We haven’t talked about it yet internally,” he said. “It hasn’t even been broached.’’

 

 

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