Butler expected to be back for playoffs.
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler underwent successful surgery on the injured meniscus in his right knee Sunday and he now expects to be back for the NBA playoffs, according to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania.
Butler suffered the injury during the third quarter of Friday’s loss in Houston. He will reportedly be sidelined for 4-6 weeks as a result of yesterday's surgery.
The 28-year old All-Star is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5 assists in 56 games for the Wolves this season. Minnesota is currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 37-26 record, but that's only two games up on the eighth seed Denver Nuggets. It's no guarantee that the Wolves will be able to maintain their standing without Butler in the wildly competitive Western Conference, but teammate Taj Gibson told ESPN that he was in good spirits following the injury.
"He was talking so much trash on the plane, you didn't really think he was hurt," Gibson said. "He came in today making jokes, being his normal self, so I think he's fine mentally. It could have been worse. Most people thought it was a lot worse, so I think he's already in the right state of mind."
Nemanja Bjelica has been inserted into the starting lineup in Butler's absence, which also resulted in more playing time for veteran Jamal Crawford in Minnesota's 122-104 victory over the Bulls on Saturday.