MINNEAPOLIS After missing the past five Timberwolves games with a strained right quad, small forward Andrei Kirilenko will return to the Minnesota lineup on Wednesday night for the team's game against Philadelphia. He participated in the team's full practice on Tuesday.
Kirilenko seemed borderline agitated last Wednesday about the duration of the injury, which he suffered on Feb. 4 against Portland. He said he was tired of watching his team play its games on television and seemed hopeful that he'd be back after the All-Star break.
Kirilenko has missed nine games this season; he also suffered from back spasms in late November and early December. In this, his 11th year in the NBA, he's averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists, and his 18.1 PER is among the best of his career. His reinsertion into the Timberwolves' starting lineup will be bound to bring help at both ends of the court, and Mickael Gelabale will likely come off the bench now that the Kirilenko has returned.