Bjelica contributed 10 points (4-4 FG, 2-2 3Pt), two rebounds, and one assist in 22 minutes during the Timberwolves' 107-99 loss versus the Clippers on Sunday. Bjelica missed the past week with a knee contusion, but showed no signs of the injury lingering on Sunday, as he was perfect from the field while committing no turnovers. The Wolves have a decent amount of front-court depth, with Karl Anthony-Towns, Kevin Garnett, and Gorgui Dieng all competing with Bjelica for minutes. Still, Garnett starts but doesn't play big minutes, coach Sam Mitchell has made it clear he doesn't want to run Towns down by playing him excessively, and Bjelica's ability to spread the floor enables him to share the floor with each of those three big men.
Coach Sam Mitchell confirmed that Bjelica (knee) would be available Sunday for the Timberwolves' game against the Clippers. After enduring no discomfort during his pregame warmup, Bjelica will dress for the first time since Nov. 18. During Bjelica's absence, Gorgui Dieng has taken on increased involvement as the Timberwolves' top big man off the bench, and Dieng will likely continue to rank ahead of Bjelica in the frontcourt pecking order. As a result, Bjelica could be subjected to limited minutes Sunday, though Mitchell will likely turn to the rookie if he determines the lineup needs more of a floor-spacing option than Kevin Garnett or Dieng at the four spot.
Bjelica (knee) is expected to return to action Sunday against the Clippers, Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV reports. After taking off the previous four games to recover from a left knee contusion, Bjelica looks like he'll be back in the mix off the bench, absorbing most of the minutes that have been going to Adreian Payne and Damjan Rudez in recent days. At one point this season the Serbian rookie was seeing 20-plus minutes with regularity, but the Timberwolves had downsized his role prior to the injury. He'll likely have to settle for minutes in the teens initially, but if he's able to quickly put the knee concern behind him and reemerge as a sharpshooter from the outside, he could see his playing time pick up.
Bjelica (knee) will sit out again Friday in Sacramento, Dave Benz of the Minnesota Timberwolves reports. This will be the fourth consecutive game missed for Bjelica. He is averaging 26 minutes per game this season, so Minnesota could use his return. His next opportunity to play will be Sunday in Los Angeles versus the Clippers.
Bjelica (knee) is considered a game-time decision Friday against the Kings. Bjelica has already missed the past three games with a left knee bruise. He's averaging a surprising 26.5 minutes per game after 12 outings this season, but his impending return to the court could feature the Serbian in limited minutes as to prevent further injury.
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