Wolves' Brandon Roy trying to get knee to 'where you can tolerate it'
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy sat out again Wednesday, missing his third straight game with a sore knee after leaving last Friday's win over Indiana early.
Roy said his goal is to play Friday against Golden State, but he didn't seem overly-optimistic. He tried his best to sound positive, but he spoke with the tone and had the body language of someone who knows it isn't good.
"I would like to (play Friday)," Roy said. "That's the goal. I don't want to say yeah or no, but I would like to try to get out there Friday."
Roy said he wants to at least get some contact in during practice before he returns and is hopeful that will happen on Thursday. The team had a light workout Tuesday because of how many players are currently sidelined due to injury.
There is added caution with Roy because the injury is in those knees that have no cartilage remaining. He originally banged it in a preseason game in Green Bay and it just keeps getting knocked. He says he needs to get to a point where he can handle the pain.
"You just have to get to a point in the season where you can tolerate it," he said.
Roy is an optimist and said he tried not to think about whether or not there would be any setbacks on his road to returning to the NBA after sitting out last season because of his degenerative knees. But both general manager David Kahn and coach Rick Adelman were both more realistic about the comeback attempt.
"Absolutely (we expected bumps in the road)," Kahn said. "We were very clear last summer that we didn't expect everything to be issue-free. We didn't expect the opposite. We went into it not knowing what to expect. So, I don't think that anything that has occurred up to this point could be considered surprising."
Added Adelman, "I always thought there would be times like this. You didn't know what was going to come. He was doing pretty well until he got his knee bumped in that exhibition game and that kind of has given him some problems."
Roy is comforted by the knowledge that his teammates and bosses aren't putting pressure on him despite a setback so early in the season.
"Coach and the team told me to keep taking my time and nobody has been putting pressure on me," he said.
Nothing like it
Adelman began his playing career in 1968 and his coaching career in 1989, and he says he has never seen a run of injuries like the Timberwolves have had recently.
Despite playing a second game with just nine healthy bodies, Kahn says the team isn't on the verge of making any roster moves.
The roster is full at 15 players and Kahn said the Wolves don't yet qualify for an injury exception, so the Wolves would have to cut somebody in order to sign somebody off the street. The Wolves have the veteran's minimum of $1.2 million to offer a free agent and have worked out Josh Howard and Mickael Pietrus, but neither appears to be imminent.
A trade is a possibility, albeit a very small one Kahn says, because teams aren't typically looking to shake their roster up this early in the season. Also, players who were signed over the summer can't be moved until Dec. 1 per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The hope is that some combination of Roy (sore knee), Nikola Pekovic (sprained ankle) or JJ Barea (sprained foot) will be back in time for Friday's game against Golden State.
But when asked if he anticipated having anybody back on Friday, Adelman joked that he hoped he still had nine healthy bodies by then. He probably should have knocked on wood when he said that because Malcolm Lee limped to the locker room with cramps in the fourth quarter, but it turned out to just be cramps and he plans on practicing Friday.
Another reason for the Wolves not rushing to the free agent scrapheap is because they have an upcoming window to let bodies heal. After Friday's game, the team gets four days off before returning to the court Wednesday against Denver. Just get through Friday night an
The good news is that the Wolves made it through Wednesday's game without losing a player to injury for an unprecedented fifth straight game.
Kevin Love said he will be getting a follow-up X-ray done on his broken right shooting hand on Tuesday and it will be sent to the specialist in New York he saw after the injury occurred in October.
Love seemed in high spirits during an informal media session Wednesday, much more jovial than two weeks ago when he faced questions doubting his story that he broke his hand doing knuckle pushups at home.
He is hopeful of getting the green light from his doctor on Tuesday to begin doing more rehab exercise with a target return date of early December. Love said he hasn't had any physical contact with his hand other than sending text messages but is hopeful of being able to dribble and shoot soon.
Kahn expressed optimism that both he and Ricky Rubio will be back for the "vast majority of the season."