Timberwolves wing Jimmy Butler addressed the media Sunday afternoon for the first time since suffering a meniscal injury in his right knee on Feb. 23 against the Rockets.
Butler underwent surgery on his knee two days later.
Fittingly, his media availability came before the Wolves took on the Rockets at Target Center.
The main question, predictably, was if Butler would be back before postseason. With the Wolves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt, that's a good question, especially since the Wolves haven't been there since 2003-04.
“Oh yeah, oh yeah, I plan on doing it,” Butler said when asked on if he can return by the playoffs. “I can’t give you the exact date, but I want to come back and I want to help. I want to play.”
The Timberwolves’ last regular season game is on April 11 which is 47 days from his injury, or six weeks and five days.
Butler is itching to get back, but won’t rush himself back, knowing he could risk his long-term health.
"I’m not one to sit out if I can play. I want to compete, I want to show that I’m one of the better players to do this, I’m here for a reason, I want to help my team win, all that good stuff. But I can’t come back early cause something worse might happen," Butler said.
In his first season with the Wolves, the four-time All-Star is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds 5.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting a career-high 47.3 percent from the field.
The Wolves are 4-4 since Butler’s injury.
Prior to Sunday night’s game, the Wolves ranked sixth in the West with a 40-30 record.