Storyline: Nikola Mirotic Injury

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“It’s great having [Nikola Mirotic] back on the floor,” agreed Hoiberg. “Just looking at where we are right now, getting Zach back with full contact and David is going to try to do a little bit in practice and then getting Niko back on the floor with us is a very important step. As far as what he can provide on the floor, he’s had some really good moments in this league and given us some great production. Getting him back out here is certainly a step in the right direction. The plan is for him to do some contact and see how he responds and then put a plan together from there.”

Meanwhile, though he is free of his concussion symptoms, Nikola Mirotic remains weeks away from returning from the two facial fractures that Bobby Portis caused with a punch to the face during an Oct. 17 altercation between the forwards in practice. Mirotic remains upset enough over the disparity in time of absences that he has had little contact with teammates, and his camp has made clear to management that, for now, it doesn’t see a way the two forwards can coexist.

Josh Lewenberg‏: Dwane Casey on player fights when he was an assistant in Seattle… So, Gary Payton and…? “We had some doozies in Seattle, I’ll tell you what, some fisticuffs. One that started on the court and went in the weight room and went outside, come back in. It was a long one. I’ve seen those. The good thing about that, the people that were involved in that were able to come back together and bond back together, which is the hard part. You can’t let what happened yesterday come into tomorrow or next week or next month or hold it inside. That’s the trick and luckily in Seattle we had some of those but guys were able to get back together and maintain the team chemistry.”

If Mirotic had questions about why he needed a second surgery in early February to remove a hematoma after his Jan. 27 appendectomy, they had to wait. “There was not too much time to explain,” Mirotic said Wednesday in his first public comments since the procedures. “I was really in pain with a high fever. They made me go straight to the surgery room. When I awakened, they explained what happened to me. I was a little bit confused and scared about the situation. But life is like this. You never know.”

“He’s still in the hospital,” Hoiberg said. “He developed a hematoma, which is a collection of blood, that he had to go back in and have a second surgery to remove. He’s on a liquid diet right now. He’s in quite a bit of pain, but his spirits are OK. Hopefully he’ll get out of the hospital soon and just get him back. As far as a timetable for Niko to get back on the floor, we just don’t know yet. But he had the complication, got it fixed. Hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”
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December 17, 2017 | 6:22 pm EST Update
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler’s sore back kept him out of most of practice Sunday and could keep him out of Monday’s game against Portland at Target Center. “He didn’t do much today,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s short practice. “Just getting treatment. We’ll see how he is [Monday].” The Timberwolves officially listed Butler as questionable with back spasms.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Injury