For the first time since suffering a season-ending ACL injury, Al made an appearance Wednesday afternoon at the Timberwolves practice facility.
Minnesota has been going through a particularly hard stretch of losses recently, so seeing the big man back -- even on crutches -- provided the Wolves with a little lift.
As written in the Star-Tribune:
"That gave us a boost," Love said. "I think they called him in just to lift our spirits because last night was horrendous."
Jefferson, the team's scoring and emotional leader, was averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He declined to talk with reporters but has been keeping in touch with teammates.
"He told me everything happens for a reason," said Love, who leads NBA rookies with 17 double-doubles. "It's time for me to step up. This is a big opportunity for me."
Minnesota is 1-9 since Jefferson's injury. In that time, opponents have feasted on the Wolves' small lineup, including Love at center.
Al was injured on Feb. 8th in a game against the New Orleans Hornets.
Wolves game tape serves as horror film (Star-Tribune, Mar. 5, 2009)