Minnesota’s Chase Budinger cleared for contact, could return relatively soon

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Chase Budinger was expected to start and be a key part of the Minnesota attack — he can shoot the three and is very athletic so he can finish in transition. He’s a great fit with their Kevin Love/Ricky Rubio attack.

However, for the second straight year Budinger has been sidelined by a knee injury — he had his meniscus removed after an injury during pre-camp workouts back in October.

Minnesota could get him back soon — he has been cleared for full contact, the team announced. There is no timetable but this means he can fully work out and run with team, it’s just a matter of getting comfortable and conditioning.

Budinger may not replace Corey Brewer as a starter (certainly not at first) but he brings more depth and athleticism to a Minnesota team that has played better than their record (they have a 12-13 record but the point differential of a 15-10 team). This is a team to watch making a run as the calendar turns to 2014.

Looks like Budinger may be part of that.