Brian Windhorst: Jimmy Butler “should be a go” toni…

More on Jimmy Butler Injury

Chris Haynes: Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler is expected to be available tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Christopher Hine: Tom Thibodeau said Jimmy Butler is playing tonight. Jeff Teague is still out, “day to day.” Tyus Jones will return tonight after a one-game absence.
Tim MacMahon: Thibs on decision for Jimmy Butler to skip this trip: “I knew going in, looking at the schedule, where we were and the amount of time he’s practiced, I knew we would talk after the game. It’s what I wanted, too. Obviously, I wanted his input, but I wanted to be smart about it.”
Jimmy Butler (precautionary rest) will not play in the Wolves' game in Dallas on Saturday night. The Wolves are making sure to bring Butler along slowly after he missed much of the preseason so they will be giving him the game off on the second night of an early season road back-to-back.
Jerry Zgoda: Thibs said Butler had "just general soreness" w/ knee after season, said he won't need any other procedures, praised his toughness for changing team's fortune and "culture" during 47-win season
Jimmy Butler (12.0 ppg in this series) is dealing with a sore right wrist he refuses to discuss in addition to coming off of knee surgery. "Nobody really cares if you're nicked up. If you put on that jersey and go out there and play, you've got to produce. You've got to do what they got you here to do. So 40, 50, 95, 100 [percent], I'm out there playing. Nobody cares if I'm nicked up or not."
Kyle Ratke: Thibs says Jimmy's "a go." He'll warm up, but it sounds like he'll play tonight. No update on minutes.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler is planning to return to Minnesota’s lineup Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers to begin his comeback from February knee surgery, according to two people familiar with Butler’s decision.
Kyle Ratke: Jimmy Butler available to play tonight, team announces. Rose and Teague also available.
Chris Dempsey: Jeff Teague is “expected to be a go,” coach Tom Thibodeau said for tonight vs. Denver. Jimmy Butler’s status is still up in the air.
Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said both Butler and starting point guard Jeff Teague will decide after warming up whether they’ll each play in tonight’s crucial late game against the Nuggets that has all kinds of playoff implications. “It’s really hard, but I gotta realize that at the end of the day, it’s my decision, my career. So I have to listen to my body, go out there knowing I can go 100 percent, no matter for how many minutes it’s going to be for. I don’t want to favor anything. I want to know I can go out there and play.”
Jon Krawczynski: You can tell Jimmy is conflicted. Wants to jump into the fight, but has to be smart. "I gotta realize that at the end of the day, it’s my decision, my career. I have to listen to my body."
Butler continues to work himself toward a return from knee surgery before regular season’s end. On Sunday, he went through what Thibodeau called a “heavy conditioning day” and this week will participate in five-on-five contact scrimmages, which Thibodeau calls “the big thing.” Following Thursday’s visit to Denver, the Wolves play again Friday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Bernard Lee: Few things 1. He didn’t do anything to his cartilage in any way shape or form and 2. I think it was his Normatech you saw him carrying, he doesn’t have a brace. Thanks @BloodStrib

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But Jimmy Butler is here. And, at today’s morning shootaround at American Airlines Arena, while the rest of his teammates were getting ready for tonight’s game with the Dallas Mavericks, Butler was taking another step in his return from Feb. 25 right knee surgery. For the first time since injuring the cartilage in his knee against Houston Feb. 23 Butler was cleared for contact drills; he walked into the Wolves locker room this morning carrying a brace for that right knee. This is a significant step for Butler.
Butler has been doing on-court work for a while, doing some running and a ton of shooting. If today goes well, it should give everyone more confidence in Butler’s ability to return before the regular season ends. But, according to Thibodeau, he’ll have to clear a few more hurdles first. “It’s him being ready to go,’’ Thibodeau said. “I want him to have confidence in his body that he can go again. So, usually, what happens is you’re doing the on-court stuff. You start with non-contact. Then you phase in the contact and you build up. You start with one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three and then the five-on-five. And, after each step, you have to see how it responds the next day. So far it’s been pretty good.’’
Jimmy Butler and Crawford stayed on the court long after practice shooting three-pointers. Butler, coming back from Feb. 25 knee surgery, is improving rapidly. Thibodeau said he’s feeling good, doing two rehab sessions daily. But he has not yet been cleared for contact.

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Butler brought his blunt, take-it-or-leave-it leadership style from Chicago and used his familiarity with Thibodeau to lift Towns and Wiggins out of the pressure-free stages of their careers. But Butler’s unfortunate setback in the first game after the All-Star break removed those trusty training wheels. “You don’t want to see anyone get injured, certainly not Jimmy, and we know we can’t replace him individually. We have to do it collectively,” Thibodeau told Yahoo Sports. “But whenever someone goes out, it’s an opportunity for others to step up and grow. So we want to take advantage of this … and really, the only way you can learn is to go through it.”
Jon Krawczynski: No specific timeline yet for a jimmy Butler return but he likes how his body has responded to surgery.
Butler had surgery on Sunday morning at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, wasting little time in getting on with it after an MRI revealed a damaged meniscus on Saturday afternoon. In what could be considered good news, Butler did not have to decide between repairing the meniscus versus removing it, which is often the difficult fork in the road that athletes face when dealing with an injury of this nature, league sources told The Athletic.
The Timberwolves announced on Sunday that team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm performed the procedure and said he would be sidelined indefinitely. But sources say that nothing has been ruled out yet, including what would no doubt be a dramatic postseason return should Butler's knee respond positively to the surgery and the Wolves hold on to their playoff position over these final 19 games of the regular season.
Butler met with Timberwolves doctors and specialists on Saturday after the MRI and also considered heading to California for a second opinion as things unfolded. But Butler was able to receive a second and third opinion on Saturday night, according to sources, and the decision was made to have the surgery on Sunday morning.

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KC Johnson: Taj Gibson on Jimmy Butler: "He was talking so much trash on the plane, you didn’t even really think he was hurt. He came in today making jokes, being his normal self. I think he’s fine mentally."
Nick Friedell: Jimmy Butler is here at Target Center. He's on crutches but is in good spirits -- casually talking to reporters and Bulls/T'Wolves personnel.

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

http://twitter.com/ChrisG_Sports/status/955655852702101504
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.
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