Wolves May Reach Out To Pietrus, Howard

The Wolves are concerned about the health of Chase Budinger, who twisted his right knee in last night's loss to the Bulls, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. There's no word on how long he'll be out yet, but the team is continuing talks with agents for other players who might be brought in to replace him, according to Wolfson, who says the team will call on Mickael Pietrus and perhaps Josh Howard along with others should the need arise (Twitter link).

X-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary for Budinger, who is expected to undergo an MRI today, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Replacing him will be a challenge, Wolfson points out, since the team only has the minimum salary at its disposal. Wolfson called Pietrus a long shot for the Wolves a few days ago, given agent Bill McCandless' insistence in July that Pietrus won't sign for the minimum, but the Minnesota is apparently not giving up. Howard seems more likely to bite on a minimum offer, judging by his recent comments about his willingness to find NBA work. 

The Wolves have been hit hard by injuries in the early going this year, with Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea and Brandon Roy all missing time. Rookie Alexey Shved was the team's only healthy shooting guard last night against the Bulls, and coach Rick Adelman used 6'9" forward Andrei Kirilenko to guard Richard Hamilton for significant stretches.

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