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.
Wolves reserve center Ronny Turiaf has been active list and D-League bound Shabazz Muhammad is inactive for tonight's game at Philadelphia.
That means he's available to play while teammate Chase Budinger remains on the inactive list for at least another game.
How much or how well Turiaf plays are different matters.
He hasn't played since injuring his elbow in the season's second game, Nov. 1 against Oklahoma City.
"Just go out there and do my thing," Turiaf said before the game. "All the extra work I've put in the last couple weeks...I'm looking forward to it."
Turiaf said he doesn't know if he is being put on a minutes limit, but you can be sure the Wolves coaches and medical staff watch his conditioning and stamina closely.
"We'll shall see," Turiaf said about his conditioning. "All I can tell you is I felt pretty good in practice. If Coach asks me to play, I'll go play. If he asks me to go short minutes, I'll go short minutes. I just want to help this team in any way possible. We shall see what Coach has planned for me."
Budinger said he's still waiiting for clearance based on how he handles practices. Rick Adelman said late last week that both players were very close to returning, so we'll see what Wednesday's game against Phoenix brings.
Still waiting to hear on Luc Mbah a Moute's availability. He rested his strained groin before tonight's game and was swearing profusely when he came in from warmups, but we'll see if he's good enough to play after missing Saturday's loss to Oklahoma City.
Sixers guard Tony Wroten (flu, migraine headache) won't play but Michael Carter-Williams, who didn't play when these two teams played at Target Center last month, will.
can wait ti get back and see if shes safe and ready to go and not frozen, siberian temperature in minneapoolis definitley something different,
Ricky Rubio did not participate in this morning's shootaround in El Segundo because he is feeling ill and is being called a game-time decision for tonight's game against the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant, of course, won't play for the home team because of that fractured knee bone that will keep him out for the next six weeks.
If Rubio doesn't play, that leaves J.J. Barea as the starter and Alexey Shved and A.J. Price as backup options.
The Lakers are down three point guards -- Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar -- and LA coach Mike D'Antoni said before tonight's game that the Wolves should give his team a fighting chance.
When asked if his team catches a break if Rubio doesn't play, he said, "I don't know, (J.J.) Barea's pretty good, too. Maybe both of them. We have three out. At least they can have two."
Wolves guard Chase Budinger -- out all season so far because of that second knee surgery in 11 months -- has been cleared to participate in contact practices, starting tomorrow, the team announced today.
Still uncertain is how much practice he will need before he is cleared to play in a game.
You can be sure the Wolves will be conservative with him after he needed that second surgery to resolve his torn meniscus issue.
The Timberwolves are at home tonight against the Trail Blazers.
Dante Cunningham and Kevin Martin both were on the floor for this morning's shootaround at Target Center and there's chance both could play tonight against 22-4 Portland.
Rick Adelman said after Monday's game that he expected Cunningham would miss some time with a late-game ankle injury that looked bad because of Cunningham's reaction when he landed on a Celtics players foot and caming tumbling down in great pain.
"Yeah, I let out a little war cry," Cunningham said. "I did. I admit that. It was more shock than anything."
Adelman said he thought at that moment that Cunningham might have broken his ankle, but he was walking carefully on it after the game and was able to run on it this morning even though it remains tender and swollen.
"I'm moving on it right now and it's feeling pretty good," he said. "But it's still a little swollen."
Asked if he might be cautious with it, he said, "If I can run and I can move and I can benefit this team, I’m going to play."
Martin underwent treatment after practice and didn't talk with media members before leaving the arena, but I'm hearing he's feeling better with what likely is knee tendinitis. His knee first bothered him last week in Detroit and really flared up in the second half of Friday's game at San Antonio.
He said before Monday's game that he needed to get his knee "right."
We'll see if that has already happened in just two days or if he needs more time with three games left before the Wolves get three full days off for Christmas.
The Wolves are back home tonight, 24 hours after thumping the Pistons in Detroit 121-94.
Tonight, they've got Philadelphia in the second half of back-to-back games.
Before the game, Rick Adelman gave updates on injured Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger, both of whom remain out.
On Turiaf's fractured elbow, Adelman said, "He's not there at all yet. It's just healing a lot slower than they anticipated. It's just a slower process the doctors thought and he thought. He's getting better, but I think it will be a while yet."
He said he didn't know who'd return first, which is a surprising because I -- and others -- had assumed Turiaf will be back before Budinger, who coming off a second knee surgery.
"We're hoping Chase can practice the next couple weeks and then we'll see where he goes from there," Adelman said. "Right now, they're both unknown."
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