Jon Krawczynski: Nemanja Bjelica starting tonight for B…

Jon Krawczynski: Nemanja Bjelica starting tonight for Butler. Thibs says they’ll go game by game depending on matchups

More on Jimmy Butler Injury

Shams Charania: Jimmy Butler is expected to undergo surgery in coming days and could return within 4-to-6 weeks, league sources tell Yahoo. Final timetable will be set after procedure.
Nick Friedell: Thibs says Butler is reviewing all his options with doctors and will get a second opinion. Thibs declined to reveal what kind of tear Butler sustained and declined to speculate how long Butler would be out.
KC Johnson: Tom Thibodeau will address reporters here in Minnesota shortly. But Butler is telling people he plans to be back for playoffs.
Tim Bontemps: The Timberwolves have announced an MRI on Jimmy Butler’s right knee revealed a "meniscal" injury. His timeline to return is TBD. Given the potential outcomes, probably the best news the Wolves could've hoped for.
Nick Friedell: The good news for T'Wolves is that it wasn't an ACL injury for Butler. The bad news is that depending on how severe the meniscus injury is that's usually at least several weeks off the floor in a best case scenario.
Butler did not speak to reporters after the game but was in high spirits, according to multiple teammates. He was visited in the training room by Harden. "His first reaction was, 'I'm OK, I'll be OK,'" Wolves forward Taj Gibson said. "But he was smiling. That was a big thing and it was a huge relief for everybody in this locker room. He's a warrior so we've just got to hold it down for him."

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Mike Richman: Thibideau says Jimmy Butler is out tonight vs. the Blazers. Jamal Crawford is available.
@NickFriedell: Did Jimmy [Butler] have an MRI on his knee? #Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau: “He may have.”

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Nick Friedell: Me: Did Jimmy have an MRI on his knee? Thibs: “He may have.” Then he says Butler’s absence is precautionary. Butler just has some “general soreness.” Ah, Thibs. Some things never change.
Josh Lewenberg: Some big pre-game news from @Twolves_PR: Wolves will be without Jimmy Butler (and Jamal Crawford) tonight. Robs us of what would have been a fun DeMar/Jimmy matchup but Raptors catch a bit of a break on 2nd night of a b2b. Butler's having a great season.
Kyle Ratke: Jimmy Butler (back) will play tonight barring any setbacks while warming up.
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.
Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Jimmy Butler will miss his second straight game Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons because of an upper respiratory infection. Butler was a late scratch from Tuesday's loss to the Indiana Pacers, and Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game that he was unsure of Butler's status against Detroit.
Jimmy Butler will play in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, but Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that the All-Star swingman participated in only "a little bit" of Friday's shootaround as he continues to deal with left knee soreness.
"Jimmy, he's going to battle," Hoiberg said. "It's one thing you know about Jimmy, is he's as well-conditioned as anybody in this game. He's as big [of] a competitor as anyone in this game. He does have soreness; there's no denying that. But he's going to continue to go out there and give it everything he has."
Nick Friedell: Hoiberg acknowledges Butler has some soreness in his knee. Calls Butler a "warrior." Butler will get treatment and will play in Game 6.
Jimmy Butler had 25 points in the Bulls latest win on TNT on Thursday night. During the game, Butler was poked in the eye by Iman Shumpert, but it couldn’t have been that bad because he finished the game. Yet after the game he was sporting an eye patch, but don’t worry because he was just messing around, I guess? The Bulls are 1 game out of the 8-seed. A one-eyed Jimmy Butler would not help them make the playoffs.
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg says Jimmy Butler (heel) will play tonight vs. Raptors.
Vincent Goodwill: Jimmy Butler is out tonight. Hopeful for Golden State but will be evaluated tomorrow
Nick Friedell: Jimmy Butler, on if his injury could get worse if he doesn't rest it. "I don't know. Maybe. I think anything could possibly get worse. I want to play basketball. Sometimes you got to risk it to get the biscuit as Nate Robinson used to say."
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg says Jimmy Butler is still in Chicago. He will not play vs. Knicks but he is feeling better. Hoiberg hopeful he will play Saturday.
About the only things clear regarding Jimmy Butler's left knee is that he doesn't look like himself and that the injury's aftermath has him struggling mentally. One day after saying "maybe" exploratory surgery would be an offseason possibility in a published report, Butler admitted no doctor has mentioned that scenario. "I don’t think I’m going to need surgery in the offseason," Butler said following Saturday's morning shootaround at Amway Center.
Jimmy Butler has recently tried to make all talk concerning his left knee off limits. He had no choice but to lift that ban after a loss to New York in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. According to a source, Butler was told that exploratory surgery on the knee was in play as soon as the season comes to an end.
And while he was initially vague when asked about it, the All-Star didn’t take that scenario off the table. “Maybe. I hope not,’’ Butler told the Sun-Times. “Is my knee the same as it was before the injury? No. “But I want to play, man. And at times I feel like I’m hurting this team. That’s the most disappointing part because I’m not the player I was. I don’t know if there’s something really wrong in there, but it’s not really right, either. But I’ll be fine. I have to figure out a way to help us win playing with this. That’s all I’m worried about.’’
Butler has only played in one game -- a March 5 win over the Houston Rockets in which he played 34 minutes -- since suffering a left knee strain on Feb. 5 in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. Butler was asked after Monday's shootaround if he felt the need to be cautious as he makes his way to the floor again after a week off which included a visit with famed surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, in Pensacola, Fla. "I don't think so," Butler said. "I think I just got to go out there and play hard. Don't worry about my body and give my all for this team. You got to risk it to get the biscuit ... I just got to expect it more now and learn to play through that. I think it's tough, but I think I'll be all right. I don't think it's nothing major."
In other injury related news, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is "50-50" to play against the Raptors as he continues to recover from a left groin strain. "Jimmy's good to go, he had a good shootaround," Hoiberg said. "He had a really good day [Sunday]. Derrick didn't participate in anything [Sunday], went through most of shootaround. He's still a little bit tight. We'll go back, get a treatment at the hotel, warm him up tonight and make a gametime decision. We'll say right now [Rose is] 50-50 [to play]."
Vincent Goodwill: Jimmy Butler is out tonight against the Heat. Derrick Rose is questionable with a left adductor strain
Ken Berger: Jimmy Butler's visit with Dr. James Andrews revealed "no issues" in left knee, league source says. Sigh of relief for Bulls fans.
Ken Berger: Jimmy Butler's trip to Dr. Andrews more about making him comfortable about playing than serious concern about injury, league source says. Obviously, second opinions exist for a reason, but rival execs detecting very little concern from Bulls brass about Butler's knee.
Chuck Garfien: Spoke to Jimmy Butler today about his knee before the announcement that he was getting 2nd opinion from Dr. James Andrews. Jimmy Butler on his knee: "I can't stand not playing, but I don't want to start back over like I did on February 5th and make it worse. I want to play as many minutes as I can but I don't think my body will let me do it right now and that's the toughest part." Butler defended the 34 minutes he played in his first game back. "I'd been out since February 5th. I want to play as many minutes as I can."
The Bulls will be in San Antonio on Thursday to face the Spurs, who are unbeaten at home. Jimmy Butler will be elsewhere, visiting acclaimed physician James Andrews to get a second opinion on his left knee.
Butler had two tasks in mind for Friday afternoon -- more treatment for his left knee and a haircut. "I really want to look good for tomorrow night," Butler said with a laugh. Is that a positive sign, Butler wanting to look good for a national TV game? Maybe, but he could also expect to get plenty of camera time wearing a suit on the bench as the announcers explain why the Bulls have been so bad.
The Bulls will get their best player back Saturday, as Jimmy Butler will return to the team’s lineup against the Houston Rockets, in a game that could see the Bulls fall below the .500 mark with a loss. Butler has missed the last 11 games with a left knee strain, and will officially practice with the team tomorrow, where coach Fred Hoiberg will likely be cautiously optimistic about Butler’s status. But make no mistake: He’ll be back and the Bulls need every bit of what he can offer, considering the way they’ve fallen apart without him, going 3-8, including the game in which he strained his left knee, in Denver on Feb. 18.
The Bulls are already playing without Joakim Noah for the rest of the season after shoulder surgery, but they got some good news Wednesday about All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler. Butler has been out since Feb. 5 after spraining his left knee. "[He] had a great workout today," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "I actually talked to him on the phone a little bit ago, and he'll be back in there [Thursday], practice fully with the team on Friday, and then we'll make the decision. It's still too early to tell if he'll play on Saturday, but he's definitely making progress."
KC Johnson: Couple more things on Jimmy Butler injury: He said he bumped both knees in Utah. And he admitted to being "stubborn" playing in Denver. Butler didn't think bumping knees in Utah led to injury in Denver: "I just think my legs got tight. I had a lot of things that were nagging". Should Butler have played? "If I can play, I play.That’s what the fans come to see.That’s what my teammates and organization expect from me"
Bulls guard/forward Jimmy Butler was re-examined by Bulls Head Team Physician Brian Cole. Butler is expected to miss the next three to four weeks with a strained left knee. Butler has begun rehabbing his injury and he will be allowed to engage in all activities as tolerated with the primary goal of maintaining his conditioning over the ensuing weeks.
Vincent Goodwill: Fred Hoiberg on Jimmy Butler: "He feels better. We still don’t have a timeframe but the important thing is he’s feeling a lot better." Hoiberg said there’s still a lot of soreness in the knee and he doubts he plays Wednesday but can’t say for sure,
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Injury
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