Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  By PHIL ERVIN  |  Last updated 9/27/13
MINNEAPOLIS -- Official preseason practices have yet to commence, and Chase Budinger's left knee is already causing him problems again. The Timberwolves announced Friday the small forward sustained a cartilage injury to his left knee while preparing for training camp, which begins Tuesday at Minnesota State in Mankato. Last season, Budinger had surgery for a torn meniscus in the same knee and missed 59 games as a result. After injuries completely derailed its 2012-13 season, Minnesota can only hope Budinger's latest issue isn't as serious this time around. Budinger, who re-signed with the Timberwolves as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, will visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., for further examination early next week, the team said. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound swingman is expected to contend for Minnesota's starting small forward job this year. He got off to the best start of his four-year career last season, averaging 12.4 points through five games. But Nov. 10 at Chicago would bring his last game action until March 21. He finished out the season on a less-than-100-percent knee but was optimistic all offseason about how it felt. Interviewed by reporters last week following a training-camp workout session, Budinger said it's "way better" than it was in April. "At the end of last season, I felt like I had a brick on that foot," Budinger said. "I'm starting to get my hops back a little bit and have been able to take off on it and land on it and not even think about it." He wasn't the only key returner to miss a large chunk of time last season. Power forward Kevin Love broke his hand and underwent a knee operation of his won, appearing in just 18 games, Ricky Rubio missed 25 games while coming back from a torn ACL, and Nikola Pekovic sat out 20 contests with varying nagging injuries. Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter
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