MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brandon Roy's balky right knee put him back on the operating table Monday, an ominous sign for a player trying to come back from years of chronic knee issues.
The latest setback doesn't appear to have dashed those hopes completely just yet.
Roy had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at a Twin Cities clinic, a procedure the team said would keep him out approximately one month.
``We fully support Brandon's decision to have today's arthroscopic procedure, and look forward to his return when he feels ready to play,'' team president David Kahn said in a statement issued by the team.
Roy was unavailable for comment, and Kahn's statement seems to imply that Roy will attempt to rejoin the team at some point to try playing again. But the evidence is mounting that his experiment with the Timberwolves may not have the fairy tale ending everyone was hoping for.
The former All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers retired before last season because of bone-on-bone pain in both knees that robbed him of his silky smooth creativity on offense and a 40-inch vertical leap that he occasionally pulled out to block an important shot or grab a crucial rebound on defense.
He felt rejuvenated after getting some injections over the summer to try to minimize the pain, so much so that he decided to give the NBA another try. After several workouts, Roy signed a two-year deal with the Timberwolves, who desperately needed a veteran playmaker at shooting guard.
Roy had a very encouraging training camp, feeling no pain in the knees while going through rigorous workouts. But he first ran into trouble after a collision in a preseason game against Milwaukee on Oct. 26, and it only got worse after another in a game against Indiana on Nov. 9.
He has played in just five games this season, averaging 5.8 points and 4.6 assists.
``It's tough, but it's probably the best thing to do at this point and see where he's at,'' Wolves coach Rick Adelman said of the surgery.
Guard J.J. Barea (sprained left foot) has also been out of action, so the Wolves signed free agent Josh Howard late last week. While more of a forward, Howard will be logging some more minutes at shooting guard against bigger lineups to try to offset the loss of Roy and Barea, who is questionable for the game Wednesday night against Denver.
``Coming in I knew there was an opportunity to play,'' Howard said. ``I wish Brandon a speedy recovery. Hope he gets back soon. Until then, I'll hold down the fort for him.''
Unfortunately for Roy and the Timberwolves, it may not be his fort to hold down any longer.
``From the very start you knew it was going to be up and down. It's too bad it's (surgery),'' Adelman said. ``I think he feels like it's worth doing and making sure everything is all right. So we just have to go with it. Hopefully when it's over with he'll be able to come back.''
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