Al’s knee ligament repaired, McHale downplays trade prospects

Posted on February 18th, 2009 – 6:43 PM
By Jerry Zgoda

A New York City surgeon found some cartilage damage he needed to repair when he fixed Al Jefferson’s torn anterior-cruciate knee ligament today. Kevin McHale said that might slow Jefferson’s rehab for a few weeks, but said it won’t change his long-term prospects for recovery.

“The only good news about surgery is that the next day, the healing process begins,” McHale said before the Wolves play Miami tonight. “It’s going to be six to eight months from whenever he did it, so it might as well be six to eight months from today.”

The NBA trading deadline arrives Thursday at 2 p.m. Internet reports today have linked the Wolves and Chicago in talks regarding Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich and Wolves’ expiring salaries (Jason Collins, Rashad McCants, Brian Cardinal, etc.) and possibly one of their extra first round picks.

When asked about the prospects that the Wolves will make a trade by the deadline, McHale said, “Not great, probably not. But who knows.”

The Wolves get their second look at Jermaine O’Neal in eight days. He scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of Toronto’s victory at Target Center last Tuesday. Now he’s a member of the Heat after Friday’s trade swapped him for Shawn Marion. He plays his first game for Miami tonight and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has wasted no time. O’Neal will start tonight, but he will play without his trademark headband, which Heat exec Pat Riley bans the franchise’s players from wearing.

“We only have 30 games left,” Spoelstra said. “We might as well start the process right now. Let’s get it going.”

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. The procedure was performed this morning by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, N.Y. Jefferson suffered the injury during the Timberwolves Feb. 8 game at New Orleans and will be sidelined indefinitely as he begins rehabilitation.

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