Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/21/13
And then there were 12, for the first time since Dec. 7.Timberwolves swingman Chase Budinger was activated for Minnesota's Thursday game in Sacramento, pushing the roster back to 12 active players, normal for some teams but a luxury for this one. Budinger has not played since tearing the meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 10 in Chicago, but he was cleared for full-contact practices on March 12.Due to the team's schedule, Budinger did not participate in his first full practice until Wednesday, and he said that he'd play Thursday if his knee responded well to the increase in activity. Thursday, he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he would play but that he wasn't sure for how long."It feels like the first practice," Budinger said Wednesday. "Like I missed all summer and this is the first practice again. I was a little rusty out there just trying to get my legs underneath me, but all in all the knee felt great."In six games with the Timberwolves this season, Budinger was averaging 11.8 points on 48.0 percent shooting, career highs in both categories. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in those six games.The Timberwolves acquired Budinger from Houston in June, giving up their first-round draft pick in exchange. Budinger played under coach Rick Adelman for his first two seasons in the league in Houston, and he is a career 43.6 percent shooter known for his 3-point game, energy and ability to cut and move without the ball.The last time the Timberwolves had 12 active players, Dec. 7, their roster looked dramatically different. Only eight of those 12 are still with the team and healthy today; Josh Howard was cut after tearing his ACL, Malcolm Lee is out for the season with a knee issue, Lou Amundson was waived and Kevin Love remains out with a broken right hand. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
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