Timberwolves’ Chase Budinger to undergo knee surgery
By Ben Golliver
The bad injury luck continues for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love both out for an extended period of time, and Brandon Roy struggling with sore knees, the Timberwolves announced Sunday that forward Chase Budinger will undergo surgery this week after tearing the lateral meniscus in his left knee during an 87-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Saturday. The Timberwolves will not announce a recovery timeline until after Budinger’s surgery.
Torn meniscus, generally speaking, does not require the extended recovery timetable that comes with surgery to repair a torn ACL or a microfracture procedure.
Budinger, 24, was acquired from the Houston Rockets in a summer trade. He is averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 23.5 minutes per game through six games.
Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman will have to juggle to fill Budinger’s minutes. Andrei Kirilenko has started at small forward, averaging 33.0 minutes per game, and his playing time will likely be extended. Derrick Williams, starting in place of Love, has played 23.8 minutes per game so far and will likely see that tick up as well. From there, Adelman can disperse the remaining extra minutes between reserve forward Dante Cunningham, a combo forward, and Alexey Shved, an aggressive rookie guard.
Exactly how the minutes will shake out is a bit of a question, as Roy, who has started at two guard and played 24.4 minutes a night, was ruled out of Saturday’s game against the Bulls and is currently listed as day-to-day with a sore right knee. Roy is in the middle of a comeback after an unofficial retirement due to knee injuries last season. Guard J.J. Barea is also dealing with a minor foot injury.
On Friday, The Point Forward surveyed the many knee injuries impacting the availability of players around the league.