No team has been hit harder by the injury bug than the Minnesota Timberwolves. In last night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, they only had nine guys available. To add insult to injury, they lost the game at home on Kemba Walker’s game winning shot with less than a second left.
Both Kevin Love, who’s out with a broken hand, and Ricky Rubio, who’s sidelined with a torn ACL, haven’t seen the court yet this season for the Wolves. JJ Barea (sprained left foot), Nikola Pekovic (sprained left ankle) and Brandon Roy (sore right knee) are all out, but hoping to return soon. Chase Budinger is gone for three to four months after having surgery on his knee.
It’s a disaster.
In the meantime, while they’re waiting to get their players back to full strength, the Timberwolves have reportedly agreed to a deal with Josh Howard. The veteran small forward played in 43 games last year for the Utah Jazz, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He signed with Minnesota for one year at the veterans’ minimum.
The Timberwolves are currently sitting at a very respectable 5-3. They had high hopes going into the season with a lot of young, maturing talent. All they need to do right now is try and play .500 basketball until they get everyone back. That’s a lot to ask with so many injuries, and bringing in Howard isn’t going to suddenly make the team amazing, but the T-Wolves are doing the best they can with the hand they’ve been dealt.
Minnesota really doesn’t have the toughest schedule to start off the year, and with Kevin Love expected back in early December, they could get things on track and make a solid playoff push.
However, if they’re suffering from injuries now, there’s no guarantee that it won’t continue. If Minnesota players keep dropping like flies, it’s going to be a long season.
Image: USA Today