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Updated: December 18th, 2013 1:25pm
Dante Cunningham, Kevin Martin both game-time decisions vs. Portland

Dante Cunningham, Kevin Martin both game-time decisions vs. Portland

by Nate Sandell
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Luckily for Dante Cunningham, his most recent injury seems to be a case of "it looked worse than it actually was."

Two days after spraining his left ankle in glaring fashion against the Boston Celtics, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward was at shootaround Wednesday, gearing up to potentially return to the lineup for the evening's match-up with the Portland Trailblazers.

Cunningham admitted his ankle was still a "little tender," although he said was able to do "everything" in shootaround. He wasn't ready to say if he'll play in the Wolves' showdown with the Western Conference's top team, marking himself as a game-time decision.

But Cunningham's mobility and outlook afterward at shootaround left the impression that he was trying hard to guard against having to sit out.

"I'm moving around on it right now and it's feeling pretty good, but it's still a little swollen," Cunningham said.

"If I can run, if I can move and I can benefit this team, I'm going to play."

The Wolves can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Cunningham is even contemplating playing, given what appeared to be a cringe-worthy injury on first glance.

In the latter minutes of the Wolves' eventual loss to the Celtics, Cunningham got tangled up with Boston forward Jared Sullinger going for a loose ball, catching his left ankle and twisting it badly to the side.

As Cunningham's initial reaction revealed, it was undoubtedly painful. However, when he looked at back at the film later, he realized it could have been much worse.

"I let out a little war cry there, I'll admit that," Cunningham said. "Honestly, it was more of the shock than anything. I knew I was in the air. I knew I had a lot of pressure going down on it. But the trainers told me that 'subconsciously, it was a good roll in the sense that you came down and didn't try to stay up, you rolled and kind of fell.'"

The Wolves could sure use him to combat the Trailblazers. Cunningham, a critical piece of Minnesota's bench rotation, headlined the second unit's 45-point resurgence Wednesday with 12 points and six rebounds.

Kevin Martin questionable

Like Cunningham, guard Kevin Martin is a game-time decision.

Martin has been hindered lately by reoccurring pain in his left knee. He sat out against the Celtics after being limited to only 19 minutes one day earlier at Memphis.

Martin, the Wolves' second-leading scorer, told the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda pregame in Boston that "there's a lot of pain in the knee. It's a time I've got to get it right."

On the positive side, Martin was able to join the Wolves at shootaround Wednesday. He declined to speak reporters as his post-practice treatment session ran long. His status remains up in the air.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell
In this story: Dante Cunningham