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Nash13
10-25-2003, 06:19 PM
Timberwolves: Troy Hudson expected to miss at least two weeks
Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune

Published October 25, 2003 WOLF1025

And then there were 10.

Healthy Minnesota Timberwolves, that is. After point guard Troy Hudson sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter of Thursday's preseason victory over the Pacers, Wolves coach Flip Saunders called his remaining healthy players the Nasty Nine. But, with Hudson expected to miss at least a couple of weeks while recovering, the Wolves put in a call to Keith McLeod, who was expected to be back in uniform for today's scrimmage, which is open to the public.

X-rays taken of Hudson's right ankle showed no break, and an MRI confirmed the sprain. Still, he was very sore Friday.

"I think he'll be out at least two weeks," Saunders said. "I'd be surprised if he wasn't. There is a lot of swelling, and he sprained it on both sides."

So Saunders put in a call to McLeod's agent. McLeod was waived in training camp when injuries at other positions -- plus the fact that two of the team's top six players were point guards -- prompted the move.

But now it looks as if Hudson will miss at least the first week of the regular season, which begins Wednesday against Milwaukee. The Wolves scanned the wires for other options but decided on bringing McLeod back.

"We wanted to have somebody who has been playing, who is in shape," Saunders said. "And we wanted someone that, preferably, knows what we were doing. It would be an easier adjustment for the other guys."

So, with Hudson a likely candidate for the injured list, McLeod would -- if he practices well with the club the next few days -- be the top backup to Sam Cassell. Saunders said other adjustments would have to be made in Hudson's absence, including the possibility that Latrell Sprewell could spend some minutes at the point.

Olowokandi improves

Meanwhile, center Michael Olowokandi -- still recovering from September knee surgery -- tested his left knee Friday. The test, designed to compare the strength of his left knee with that of his right, showed considerable improvement from a similar test taken last week.

But that doesn't mean Olowokandi, who has yet to take part in full-court, five-on-five practice action, will be thrown into the deep end.

His work in practice will continue to increase, and Saunders said he's still hopeful that Olowokandi will be able to contribute between 10 and 15 minutes of action opening day.

Olowokandi had the operation to remove the bursa sack in the left knee after experiencing pain in the joint preparing for training camp. He played with the injury last year, sometimes in considerable pain. He said he already feels better than he did at any point last season.

"I'm getting back to my old self, being somewhat injury-free," Olowokandi said. "I'm very excited; I haven't moved this well in almost a year."

Szczerbiak update

Forward Wally Szczerbiak, who missed Thursday's exhibition finale because of increased pain in his strained plantar fascia, did some limited work Friday.

Saunders is still hoping to have Szczerbiak ready to play by opening night.

Saunders said he's not likely to make other roster moves.

"We're not going to bring anyone else in unless something happens and they say Wally has to sit out for a long time," Saunders said.

Etc.

Today's intrasquad scrimmage will be run more like a practice, in large part because only 10 healthy players will be participating. Saunders dusted off his old skills Friday, working the point during some drills.

Nash13
10-25-2003, 06:21 PM
So what does it tell you when three of your starters, and your only good bench player's injury prone?

Nicky31
10-27-2003, 02:13 PM
I'm curious to see what the power rankings would be if all these injuries of the top 5 teams in the west are taken into account?