Al Jefferson Injury Update

Al Jefferson Press Conference

Rarely, do you witness a clumsy athlete.

Al Jefferson shuffled into the Minnesota Timberwolves media room on crutches and murmured the words, "Man my armpits hurt."

The Wolves leading scorer and unquestioned franchise player struggled to reach the press table to explain his journey in the past three weeks after successful ACL surgery. After dropping the crutches on the table and the microphone, it was clear that Jefferson was more comfortable on the hardwood court.

"I've never had a season-ending injury like that," Jefferson said. "I remember telling Kevin [Love], telling coach, and I just felt like I let myself down, let my team down even though I know it was a freak accident. "I just can't stand that they're playing without me and that I can't be there to support them and be the backbone for them."

On Wednesday afternoon, Al Jefferson addressed the media for the first time since injuring his right knee in the contest against New Orleans on February 8.

" Right now it's all about building this muscle back in my knee, just trying to get it stronger and basically teach the knee. So, from the beginning, just teach the knee how to work to get that muscle stronger around the knee to get off these crutches in the next two weeks," Jefferson said.

To show the extreme importance of its star presence in the paint, Minnesota fell to just 1-12 without Jefferson in the lineup and is currently suffering through a 10-game losing streak.

"I hate to look at it sometimes especially when the guys are playing, sometimes things don't go their way," Jefferson remarked. "When one bad thing happens, it just continues to happen."

The Wolves miss one of the best low post players in the league as he averaged 23.1 points and 11 rebounds before the injury.

"I just motivate myself now," Jefferson said. "Just like when I was with the team coming to practice every day, and playing games; my games and practice is now getting my knee better. That's what I use."

Rookie Kevin Love took the opportunity without Al Jefferson to shine in the Minnesota frontcourt. Despite some bumps in the road, Love continues to attack the boards and increase his scoring average to 10.1 points per game. While Love battles the best big-men in the league, Jefferson keeps close tabs on his teammate.

"I've liked just watching the games," Jefferson commented. "Not being able to play, I've learned and I'm seeing a lot better, understanding the game, and I keep in contact with the guys. I'm especially in Kevin Love's ear. I try to call him every chance I get, just talk to him and Randy, just let them know, keep a clear head and keep playing hard."

In this time of adversity, Jefferson is seeing the game from a different perspective. At times, the process of watching games instead of participating in the action has resulted in Jefferson single-handily keeping the electronic business afloat in rough economic times.

"Aww man, I threw things," Jefferson joked. "Matter of fact I'm replacing a TV now in my house right as we speak because I threw things at the TV because I be so upset. Sometimes a bad call with the ref or anything. I got to control my emotions on that part."

The light at the end of the tunnel looks bright with Jefferson and Corey Brewer returning to the team next season. Both players are critical pieces to the blueprint plan for the Wolves franchise. Time is of the essence for Jefferson, who prepares to create havoc on opposing teams in 2009-10 and grace the Target Center floor once again.

"I'm going to take advantage of this time," Jefferson said. "I want to come back and be better than ever when I come back, and now I have the time to do it."


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