Budinger could return to Wolves action Thursday

Chase Budinger, missing since early November because of a knee injury, is back at practice and could play Thursday.

hide

Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Long after the Timberwolves’ practice ended Wednesday there was an informal three-point shooting contest. It was high-spirited and rather loud, with good-natured digs going back and forth as Ricky Rubio, Alexey Shved and Mickael Gelabale took shots along with Kevin Love and Chase Budinger.

Love still is recovering from a hand surgery. But Wednesday marked Budinger’s first practice since sustaining a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee on Nov. 10 in Chicago. Should his knee feel good Thursday morning, he expects to play Thursday night in Sacramento.

With Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic already back from their injuries, and Love and Budinger showing their three-point prowess Wednesday afternoon, Rubio was asked if seeing them all together made him wonder what might have been.

“We don’t have to think about what could have been,” Rubio said. “We have to think about what can be.”

The Wolves, inching back to health, have 17 games left to do that. Out of the playoffs, and with the possibility that Love won’t return this season, they do have enough pieces back to build some positive momentum.

“We have to do that,” coach Rick Adelman said. “I don’t know any other way to do it. Though the one thing I worry about is our schedule becoming so brutal.”

Indeed, the number of games and quality of opponents the Wolves will face in the coming weeks had Adelman shaking his head.

“I’m not sure what we did to the league office,” he said. “But our schedule is just incredible.”

The good news is that Budinger said he came out of practice feeling good. His return, he said, was a mixture of exhaustion and exhilaration. He was tired from being out of basketball shape and thrilled to be back. He said it felt like the first practice of training camp.

But the good thing is the knee held up.

“I’m just trying to get my legs underneath me,” he said. “But, all in all, the knee felt great.”

Budinger will play if he doesn’t have significant swelling in the knee. He said the joint will be painful for the rest of the season, but he thinks he can play through that. But he also has to keep tabs on the rest of his body as he gets back to full speed after months of relative inactivity.

His return will change the way the Wolves play. His ability to hit three-pointers has been sorely missed and will help space the floor.

“And just the way he moves without the ball,” Adelman said. “Even today. He made cuts that other guys don’t do. That will help us a lot.”

Whether that translates to victories down the stretch remains to be seen. But the Wolves — who were playing with nine players just a week ago — are getting healthier.

“It’s exciting,” Rubio said. “I think it’s very important for everybody — for the fans, for us — to see what we have.”

Notes

  • related content

  • Gameday: Timberwolves at Sacramento

    Wednesday March 20, 2013

    wolves gameday9 P.M. at Sacramento • no tv, 830-AMPreview: The Wolves are 7-26 on the road this season, having lost...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close