The injury bug just will not leave the Minnesota Timberwolves alone.
A season after they lost Kevin Love for much of the year when he broke his hand twice, and after Ricky Rubio missed part of the season (and wasn’t himself for much of it) recovering from a major knee injury comes this news:
Chase Budinger has suffered serious cartilage damage to his knee. While we don’t have a lot of details he is going to see the famed Dr. James Andrews next week, which is a sign that things are bad and he could be out for a chunk or all of the season. Reportedly this was not a one-time blow but rather something that came as he increased his workouts before camp — his knee just started to swell up and an MRI revealed an issue.
Budinger had played only 23 games last season due to a knee injury but the Timberwolves thought he was healthy enough to sign him to a three-year. $16 million contract this past summer.
Budinger is a very athletic wing who would have played a sixth man role for Minnesota, coming off the bench (with Derrick Williams, J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved) to give Minnesota some scoring punch with an athletic and up-tempo second unit.
Minnesota is one of a handful of teams (along with the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Mavericks and Pelicans) trying to get one of the last couple playoff spots in the West. They don’t have much margin for error and this certainly hurts them.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.