Jimmy Butler unsure about playing back-to-back games because of injury concerns

Butler says he's not going to risk injury if he's nicked up.
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler isn't sure if he'll play in both ends of Minnesota's back-to-back games Sunday and Monday against Portland and Los Angeles.

Butler spoke with the media Friday night following a 116-99 loss to the Warriors and said reporters wouldn't be asking him if he plans on playing both ends of back-to-backs if he wasn't surrounded by the drama that has followed his request to be traded. 

Despite that, the questions are coming at Butler on a daily basis, and on Friday he tried to set the record straight by saying he's in control of his body and whether or not it feels good enough to play. 

"If all of this talk wasn't going on and I sat out because my body was sore, you would not be asking me things like that," Butler said, via ESPN

He added: "They don't know how my body feels. So if I'm nicked up, then you can count on that (sitting out). I don't know. We'll see how it goes. I don't know what we plan on doing tomorrow. Obviously, I got to get some treatment along with a lot of other guys. But we'll see whenever Sunday and Monday gets here."

The Wolves play Sunday at Portland and then again on Monday in Los Angeles against the Clippers. 

"General soreness and precautionary rest," as the Wolves put it, kept Butler from playing in Minnesota's victory over the Jazz on Wednesday, which was tucked between off days on Tuesday and Thursday. 

"Injury or not, I got to take care of myself," Butler added. "I realize they have a job to do as an organization; I have one to do as a player. But if I'm not in the right with my body to go out there and do it, I don't want to get hurt. I've been hurt almost every year now, so we're going to take things with caution." 

Is Butler telling the truth? There's really no reason not to believe him. He's been a workhorse player his entire career and is coming off a 2017-18 season in which suffered a knee injury, in addition to having surgery on his shooting hand before the season. 

At the same time, Butler sitting out games this early in the season is exactly why giving him a five-year, $190 million contract as a free agent is a risky proposition. 

Does any team really want to guarantee Butler close to $40 million a season when he's already starting to wear down because of injury issues?

Regardless, the Wolves beat the Jazz without Butler and they'll have a puncher's chance without him against Portland or the Clippers. 

If Butler sits, it gives rookie first-round pick Josh Okogie more playing time. Okogie has been very good, scoring in double figures in five of the last six games while playing outstanding defense. 

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