Archives For Injuries

In so many ways, Ricky Rubio’s season debut against Dallas was a mirage. Forget even the idea of someone not named Adrian Peterson performing at an elite level after nearly a year of rehab. Its hard enough to get a surgically repaired knee–and the rest of the body for that matter–to get used to the rigors of the NBA season. From the AP:

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio will not travel with the team for a two-game road trip to Utah and Denver this week because of back spasms. Rubio missed the game against Phoenix on Saturday after being unable to get his back loosened up. Coach Rick Adelman says the team is just being cautious with Rubio, who is coming back from a torn ACL in his left knee. Rubio has played in five games this season after making his debut in the middle of last month. Adelman thinks some of Rubio’s back issues could be caused by him overcompensating for a knee that has not yet gotten back to full strength. Rubio hopes to be ready to play at home on Saturday against Portland.

As we probably could have expected, this is going to be a long process.

 

LoveEyePatch

 

From the T’Wolves PR Twitter account, Kevin Love’s eye injury sustained against the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night will keep him out of Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks. He’s also not flying to New York with the team.

Here’s video of the eye injury when it happened with just under two minutes remaining in the game.

Russell Westbrook definitely gets him in the left eye (you can see it best from the above angle). After the game, he said he hadn’t had it checked out yet by the medical and training staff before he talked to reporters in the locker room but was planning on doing so. Looking at his eye after the game, it looked like that map of the infection in the movie Outbreak when they’re showing how the red/affected areas (the disease) on the map spreads after 48 hours then 72 hours then a couple of weeks. Love’s eye was headed toward that “couple of weeks” map for sure.

Either Dante Cunningham or Derrick Williams will start in his place. I’d prefer Williams with Andrei Kirilenko defending Carmelo Anthony, since the Knicks like to start out pretty small. All he really has to do is stay out on shooters to begin the game and rebound the ball. It would be a nice test for his defensive awareness.

PekBound

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a good team.

This is fun to say. This is also weird to say. Last season, we were enjoying an incredible ride for the first 41.98 games of the campaign. Kevin Love was playing like an MVP candidate (remember when Wolves fans still liked him?), Nikola Pekovic was emerging as the Chuck Norris of the NBA, and Ricky Rubio was dancing around our hearts with his one-handed bounce passes and defensive effectiveness. They had us believing that the playoffs were a legitimate possibility because Rick Adelman was coaching three really good players and a bunch of middling role players.

Then the ACL tear happened and then the bone spurs in Pek’s ankle happened and then Love was concussed and we were left with Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, and a rat maze of feces the team couldn’t get out of. The lone highlight after Love’s showdown with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City ended up being the Wolves finally winning an April game.

The fallout of the falling out of the 2011-12 season led to a huge roster overhaul. As now we see the roster before us. The crazy thing is it’s not even our complete roster. The Wolves are still missing Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, and Malcolm Lee right now. Josh Howard is out with a hyperextended knee too. The Wolves are getting by with Andrei Kirilenko’s awesomeness, Pek coming into his own the last few games offensively and playing great defense all season, Alexey Shved proving a spark off the bench before and in the lineup now, and the Barea-Ridnour combo playing really good basketball as of late.

Continue Reading…

Ricky’s back:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that guard Ricky Rubio will be in uniform and is expected to make his season debut tonight when the Wolves take on the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center at 7:00 p.m.

“I’m excited to get back on the floor with my teammates and play in front of the best fans in the NBA at Target Center,” said Rubio. “After a long recovery, this is the first step in me getting back on the court and helping my teammates. Thank you to the fans for their support over the last nine months.”

This is going to be fun.

Rubio Smile

Ricky… you got some playing to do…

Our friend Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN is reporting that Ricky Rubio will return to action Saturday night at home against the Dallas Mavericks:

A league source told 1500ESPN.com that Rubio will play on Saturday at Target Center against Dallas.

Rubio is returning from torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee that he suffered last March.

The source said the Wolves, while busy receiving trade calls, are reluctant to make any move before they see Rubio with the rest of the team.

I talked to a couple people after Wolfson’s story was posted and they’ve basically said as long as nothing bad happens with Ricky in the next couple of days, they’d be shocked if he didn’t make his debut against the Mavericks. So nothing is a given right now but it’s looking good.

From our Wolves:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that guard Ricky Rubio has been cleared to participate in full-contact practices with no limitations after consultation with Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado. With the final medical hurdle being cleared, Rubio will now practice with the team. Rubio and the Wolves medical staff will assess his ability to participate in an NBA game after monitoring his progress during these practices.

But considering the intensity of his backyard wrestling bouts, this probably comes as no surprise. This means that we might just see Ricky Rubio in an NBA basketball game in the coming weeks. What version of himself he’ll be when that day comes remains to be seen.

From the team’s press release:

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today on his right knee. The surgery was performed by Timberwolves team orthopaedic surgeon Dr. David Fischer at the TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, Minn.  Roy is expected to be out approximately one month.

“Brandon had been experiencing some right knee pain, dating back to Oct. 26, when he banged knees with a Milwaukee Bucks player in a preseason game,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn. “The pain became more pronounced on Nov. 9 during our game against Indiana. We fully support Brandon’s decision to have today’s arthroscopic procedure, and look forward to his return when he feels ready to play.”

Roy has played in five games this season, averaging 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Roy was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Wolves on July 31, 2012.

So what does this mean? What does it change?

Nothing really. The Wolves are still a team that isn’t depending on Brandon Roy, only now there isn’t a question of “will he be back soon?” hanging over the depth chart’s head. Roy has always been and will always be a luxury on this team. By all accounts so far, he’s been a great presence in the locker room and even if that’s all he is for $5 million this season, it’s a nice change from the lack of focus that infected last season’s roster (once the injuries occurred).

I don’t believe Roy is done yet. I think he’ll probably be back well after the approximated “one month” timetable, but I do believe he’ll be back. I think we’ll have a couple of special Roy moments and then he’ll retire after this season. That could just be naiveté talking but I think he’s got more fight left in him. He wasn’t a scorer but he was a distributor during his few minutes with the Wolves so far. If he’s helping them make plays for even 20 minutes a game, it’s worth it.

The reason this isn’t such a disappointment in terms of the team concept is two-fold. 1) I think we all knew we had to temper our expectations with Roy’s return and for the most part, people have done that. 2) Alexey Shved has emerged off the bench and has added much needed depth and playmaking with the second unit and at the end of games.

We don’t know when Roy will be back, but Pek, Barea, Love, and Rubio will all be back within the next month or so. Some (Pek and Barea) will be much earlier than others. This is still a good team and I’m still feeling good about their chances moving forward. Wish Roy a speedy recovery.

The news is being sourced out to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that Chase Budinger will be out for three months:

After surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Minnesota Timberwolves starter Chase Budinger will miss minimally three months, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery on Tuesday, and a source said the meniscus was completely repaired and will allow for a full recovery for Budinger. He had averaged nearly 12 points a game for the Wolves this season, after coming over from the Houston Rockets for the 18th overall pick in the June NBA Draft.

Since the Woj report earlier in the day, the team has released their official statement on the surgery:

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger underwent successful surgery today to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Budinger’s injury occurred at the 6:00 mark of the fourth quarter in Minnesota’s game at Chicago on Nov. 10.

Budinger is expected to be out approximately 3-4 months.

I’d imagine it’s closer to three months, just because the team seems to be pretty conservative on their estimations with recovery.

This is not ideal and much longer than the standard that has been set with previous injuries. But we also had no idea how damaged the meniscus was before the surgery happened. This puts Chase back around the All-Star break and in shape for a playoff push in March and April. I’m not sure if the winning basketball or the amount of injuries are making me numb to it, but the news post-surgery doesn’t actually make me feel bad about the team right now.

Wolves will keep dealing with it and move on. Miss you, Chase:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrlO2x9NmkI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er0doVospqI

Adelman

Rick Adelman became a broken record last year. Someone for the Wolves would go down with an injury and he’d start talking about how guys couldn’t feel sorry for themselves and had to step up. They had to make the most of their opportunity to help the team. Ricky Rubio went down with his ACL injury. Kevin Love got a concussion. Nikola Pekovic had bone spurs in his ankle the size of Gibraltar. Pick any of JJ Barea’s 27 injuries from last year.

Guys went down and the Wolves went down with them. Nobody stepped up. Nobody cared. Everybody had the calendar circled for their vacation and not for the playoffs. Once Rubio was gone, the season was lost. Once Love was gone, the season was a joke. Once Pek was gone, it was the same old Wolves again. Adelman begged a set of players without anything close to a guarantee of a future with this organization to show some pride and we only saw it one game, when they finally broke their April losing streak.  Continue Reading…

WELP. Wolves announce Chase Budinger has a lateral meniscus tear in his injured knee and will have surgery later this week. There is no time table set for his return yet. Full press release:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that forward Chase Budinger suffered a lateral meniscus tear of his left knee during yesterday’s game at Chicago. Budinger suffered the injury at the 6:00 mark of the fourth quarter in Minnesota’s 87-80 loss to the Bulls. Surgery will be scheduled later this week. A timetable for his return will be determined after the surgery.

Budinger is averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in six games for the Wolves this season. He was acquired by Minnesota in a trade with Houston on June 26, 2012.

Well, this sucks.

For what it’s worth, Tyrus Thomas had this injury late January of 2011 and was out from January 20th until March 11th. That doesn’t mean a whole lot with Chase but it does give us a decent idea of how long he could be out. The tricky part is if the surgeon will have to cut away torn meniscus or try to repair it. Trying to repair it will probably mean he’s out closer to two months than six weeks. Either way, we’re not seeing Chase again until the new year. That is if the Mayans don’t eliminate the Wolves in December.

Here’s the play Chase got hurt on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qNAbVEqkiQ