Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy is expected to miss the next month after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Monday.
The team in a statement called the surgery performed by team doctor David Fischer in Bloomington "successful," but didn't provide details about an exploratory operation that cleaned up Roy's right knee.
Roy retired last December because of degenerative knees, but he launched a comeback last spring after undergoing a medical procedure intended to reduce pain and post-exercise swelling in knees that have little or no cartilage left in them. Roy, 27, signed a partially guaranteed two-year, $10 million free-agent contract with the Wolves in July.
He has appeared in five games this season but has not played since leaving a Nov. 9 game against Indiana because of pain in his right knee that the team traces to Roy banging knees with a Milwaukee player in an Oct. 26 preseason finale.
The team's statement specified the one-month timeline. But with Roy's history of knee problems, there are no guarantees.
"From the very start, you knew it was going to be up and down," coach Rick Adelman said about Roy's attempt to play again. "It's too bad it's this. But I think he feels like this is worth doing, making sure everything's all right. You just have to go with it and hopefully when it's over with, he'll be able to come back."
Roy will miss Friday's game at Portland, which would have been his return to the Rose Garden, the arena where he played his way to three NBA All-Star Games in five seasons. He had purchased three suites for family and friends for the game but will donate them to charity instead, the Oregonian newspaper reported Monday.
Roy will spend Thanksgiving with family in Seattle instead, recuperating from his seventh knee operation since high school.
"Of course, I'm concerned with it being a knee," Roy said last week before his surgery was determined and scheduled. "If it was an ankle, you have to deal with it accordingly. Since it is my knee, we all know they're not 100 percent. So anytime you have something in that area, it's always a little concerning. I try not to think about it much.
"Coach and the team always tell me to take my time. Nobody is putting any extra pressure on me."
Injuries to Roy, Ricky Rubio (torn knee ligaments), J.J. Barea (sprained foot) and Chase Budinger (knee surgery) leave the Wolves with only three healthy guards now that the team has signed free-agent small forward Josh Howard and waived point guard Will Conroy.
Howard will become an honorary member of the guards until Barea returns. Barea has not played since Nov. 7 and he did not practice once again Monday.
Asked if Barea will play Wednesday against Denver, Adelman said: "I have no idea. He keeps talking about possibly Wednesday, but he hasn't scrimmaged, so I have no idea what's going to happen."
Adelman played Howard some at shooting guard during his Wolves debut in Friday's loss to Golden State. He will continue to play there alongside Luke Ridnour, Malcolm Lee and Alexey Shved for now.
"He's going to have to play some there now, especially against size," Adelman said. "You get back to his conditioning. He's playing hard in practice, he's working hard at it, but it's going to take some time."
The Wolves' four-day break between games has enabled Adelman to get some rest for veterans such as Ridnour and Andrei Kirilenko -- and work for a youngster such as Lee. It also has given everyone a look at the not-too-distant future, when Kevin Love and Rubio participated in 5-on-0 walkthroughs in practice.
"It's fun to see those guys back out there, getting to practice, especially Ricky," Ridnour said. "Just seeing the way he has had to work to get back, it's fun to see him back on the court. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure it's something he's excited about and I know we are."
Nikola Pekovic practiced fully for the second consecutive day after missing the past two games because of a sprained ankle injured in Dallas last week. Asked if the center will play against Denver, Adelman said, "He better."