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.

Thursday practice: Budinger "close," Mbah a Moute hurting

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 2, 2014 - 10:22 PM

The Wolves have rare back-to-back practice days before Saturday's game against Oklahoma City and they used Thursday's to get Chase Budinger and Ronny Turiaf a lot of run in full-court 4-on-4 contact scrimmaging as both injured players prepared for their returns.

When I asked if there's a chance Budinger could play Saturday after two more full days of practice, Rick Adelman said nobody from the team's medical staff has told him that and he doesn't expect so.

But...

"I think they're getting close, I really do," he said.

Turiaf and that elbow shouldn't be far behind.

Meanwhile, the team's starters and reserve forward Mbah a Moute didn't do much at practice today.

Mbah a Moute said he "tweaked" his groin during Wednesday's victory over New Orleans and tried to come back into the game but couldn't run on it.

They'll go easy with him again Friday in the hopes to get him back by Saturday so he can help defend Kevin Durant.

The Thunder, btw, blew a 16-point lead and lost at home for a second consecutive game Thursday night against Brooklyn.

They come to Target Center Saturday without injured Russell Westbrook for the second time this year already.

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