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Wolves' Chase Budinger has lateral meniscus tear in his knee

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

The huge block by Taj Gibson wasn't the worst part of this play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. Wolves swingman Chase Budinger injured his left knee while going for the loose ball and left the game. He was on crutches after the game.

The team announced Sunday night that Budinger has a tear in the lateral meniscus in his knee. Full team press release:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that forward Chase Budinger suffered a lateral meniscus tear of his left knee during yesterday's game at Chicago. Budinger suffered the injury at the 6:00 mark of the fourth quarter in Minnesota's 87-80 loss to the Bulls. Surgery will be scheduled later this week. A timetable for his return will be determined after the surgery.

Budinger is averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in six games for the Wolves this season. He was acquired by Minnesota in a trade with Houston on June 26, 2012.

Tyrus Thomas had the same injury in January of 2011 and missed 24 games. He was out from Jan. 20 to March 18.

You can add Budinger to a list that includes Kevin Love (broken hand), Ricky Rubio (recovering from ACL tear), J.J. Barea (sprained foot), and Brandon Roy (three-season long degenerative knee issues), who are all injured members of the Wolves' rotation. Budinger had was a great scoring option in the first six games of the season, averaging 11.8 points off the bench on 48 percent shooting and in just 23.5 minutes of action per game.

Budinger even scored the winning basket against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

The Wolves will hope Roy's knees will allow him to play against the Mavericks on Monday night and/or Barea's foot will be healed. Otherwise, Alexey Shved will play a lot of shooting guard and Malcolm Lee will log significant minutes off the bench.

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