Injury Notes: Butler, Kawhi, Hayward, Evans

Jimmy Butler‘s return date remains unclear, but it looks like the Timberwolves forward is getting closer and closer to getting back into the lineup. According to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link), Butler took part in five-on-five action during practice today for the first time since injuring his knee in February.

The Timberwolves only have four games left in the regular season, but Butler is still expected to return before the playoffs. Minnesota’s next game is on Thursday in Denver, and the Wolves would certainly like to have their veteran star back for that contest, which will be big for playoff purposes.

If Butler can’t suit up for the Timberwolves on Thursday, he could aim to return Friday against the Lakers, next Monday against the Grizzlies, or for next Wednesday’s finale against the Nuggets once again.

Let’s round up a few more injury updates from across the NBA…

  • Asked on Sunday for the latest on Kawhi Leonard‘s status, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said there has been no word on the star forward since he headed to New York last week for rehab purposes. “I don’t know when he and his group are going to feel like they are ready to go,” Popovich said, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “If I knew, he’d be here. When he and his group feel he’s ready, then he’ll be ready.” Leonard has already been ruled out of San Antonio’s Tuesday game against the Clippers (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The Express-News).
  • Gordon Hayward took another key step forward in his rehab from ankle surgery today, jogging up and down the Celtics‘ practice court. Although head coach Brad Stevens has said Hayward won’t return this season, the forward himself hasn’t ruled out the possibility. “I think every day where he can accomplish something new is a big deal,” Stevens acknowledged today, per Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com. Still, the Celtics’ coach cautioned that Hayward remains “a long, long way away.”
  • Jawun Evans‘ rookie year with the Clippers has come to an early end, according to head coach Doc Rivers, who said today that Evans will undergo sports hernia surgery and won’t play again this season (Twitter link via Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times). Evans averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.1 APG in 48 games for L.A. this season.
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5 thoughts on “Injury Notes: Butler, Kawhi, Hayward, Evans

  1. Dionis

    Stevens is such a downer, what if he wants to make a surprise comeback? Shut up and coach you are not the GM or Hayward, he plays if he feels like it.

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    • yoyo137

      You don’t want the same situation they have in San Antonio either where he’s expected to come back but doesn’t feel ready. Basically it’s best to keep expectations as low as possible

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  2. Thomas Swanson

    Kawhi’s injury situation is just like Andrew Luck’s of the Colts, except they tanked it last season. Owner Irsay has come out publicly and said he plans on tanking for 3 seasons. In the NBA that would have cost him $500,000.
    Brad Stevens was the coach of Butler in Indianapolis and Hayward was his best player when they played in the NCAA championship game 2 seasons in a row. Hayward was not highly recruited out of high school. A late bloomer. They have a special bond.

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  3. Thomas Swanson

    Stevens said tonight Hayward is a long way from recovering and won’t play this season. His injury was gruesome when he did it. His ankle was just laying off to the side of his leg.

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