Budinger has meniscus tear, requires surgery. No timetable set for return

Remember last year when every team was trying to be all “No, OUR team is the most snakebit with injuries”? I do, it was stupid. Because Minnesota wins hands down. SO AT LEAST THE WOLVES WIN SOMETHING.

An official release from the team:

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.

This just sucks. Not just for a scrappy Wolves team, but also for a fun young player who thrives on athleticism, and who was playing quite well to start the season. On Friday, Budinger cut to the basket and scored the game-winning layup in one of the most exciting Timberwolves games since…well, since that Clippers game last year. On Saturday, he needed to be helped off the floor against the Bulls. Ugh.

The good news is that it isn’t an ACL injury, so the timetable isn’t likely to be as serious. The bad news is that any kind of knee surgery is quite serious in itself. It will require time, rehab and patience to return to form.

The super legit (I have no idea if it’s legit) MedicineNet.com’s entry on meniscus tears says that “elite athletes can return to practice 1-2 weeks after surgery” but that the goal is usually for the knee to return to normal function “4-6 weeks after surgery.” Assuming Budinger has surgery next week, four weeks would put him out of commission until December 17 at Orlando, while six weeks would keep him out through January 2 at Utah.¬†Obviously, this is totally guesswork, but if you enjoy utter speculation, there you have it.

Get well soon, Chase. Maybe by the time you come back, we’ll have defeated the evil spirits (see Derek’s preview tomorrow for more).

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

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