It was announced Monday that Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Chase Budinger underwent successful surgery on his left knee down in Pensacola, Florida to further repair the injury he suffered a year ago. Last season with the Wolves, Budinger missed the majority of the year due to tearing the meniscus in his knee and this year he thought he had worked through it completely.
Entering camp, Budinger was feeling great about his rehab and progress. But, he wound up having a cartilage issue in that knee and surgery was the recommended way to go about fixing it. Budinger is now out indefinitely for Minnesota, who re-signed him this offseason because of his spark offensively.
“I just felt so bad for [Budinger],” head coach Rick Adelman said on Monday while speaking to media at the Target Center. “He’s the type of player who can really add to what we do offensively. I feel bad for him, and I really don’t want it to become a trend. With last year it really became a trend. We really want to see him get back as quick as possible.”
The way this year is starting out, I’m sure it’s a familiar feeling for other players and fans. Last year, the Wolves dealt with injuries most notably to Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Andre Kirilenko to go along with Budinger. The thought that this group together could find their way into the playoffs if healthy.
One of the wings who will have to step up is newcomer Kevin Martin, who believes his teammates will have Budinger’s back and be able to fill in while he is out.
“The next guy has to step up,” Martin said, “so it’s good nobody talks like that because I wouldn’t be sitting here today if it wasn’t for the injury. I probably would have the greatest NBADL career ever if it wasn’t for [Bonzi] Wells going down my second year…so yeah, let’s just forget the past and move on, and if someone goes down, next man gets his opportunity.”