Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler was forced to make an early exit from last night's 120-102 loss against the Houston Rockets, due to what looks to be a right knee injury. Butler could not put any weight on his right leg, and had to be carried off of the court by teammates.
The Timberwolves have already ruled out Butler for tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls, as he is scheduled for an MRI in Minnesota to confirm if any serious injury has occurred.
The injury seemed to happen when Butler was in the process of grabbing an offensive rebound after his missed jumper. Once he came down with the ball, his right leg planted hard on the court and rotated awkwardly. He was immediately in pain afterwards.
Butler was evaluated by the team's training and medical staff after leaving the court, and initial X-rays were performed. However, the X-rays came up inconclusive.
Jimmy Butler is the Timberwolves leading scorer at 22.7 points per game, and he leads the team in minutes played per game at 37 minutes. Due to his high volume of play, he decided to sit out the All-Star game to get some rest, which led to much criticism by NBA fans.
This season is Butler's first in Minnesota after being traded from the Chicago Bulls this past offseason, where he spent the first six years of his career. The Timberwolves hope that he will be back sooner rather than later, as he is not only their veteran presence on the team, but also their leader going forward.
**UPDATE** As first reported by ESPN: Jimmy Butler has a right meniscus injury, as revealed by MRI. Timetable for possible return is unknown at the moment.