Jimmy Butler is super close to returning to play for the Wolves

Will Butler return to play Thursday at Denver?
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Jimmy Butler

UPDATE 2 P.M. 

Jimmy Butler "did everything" in practice on Tuesday, meaning he's day-to-day and could play Thursday when the Wolves meet the Nuggets in a big game in Denver. 

Original story

How Jimmy Butler's surgically repaired knee feels Tuesday could go a long way in determining his status going forward for the Timberwolves. 

Head coach Tom Thibodeau told WCCO Radio's Dave Lee Tuesday morning that Butler participated in 5-on-5 drills Monday – a signal that he's moving closer to playing again for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Feb. 25.

"Good and steady," Thibodeau told Lee when asked about Butler's progress. "The rehab part is good. He was just cleared for contact a couple days ago. He had 5-on-5 workout yesterday, so we'll see how his body responds today." 

Remember, after Butler was cleared for contact last weekend Thibodeau explained that Butler still had to go through 1-on-1 drills, followed by 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and finally 5-on-5. 

The fact that he's already into the 5-on-5 stage is a good sign, and because the Wolves don't play again until Thursday in Denver it wouldn't be all that surprising if that's the night Butler returns. That's purely speculation, but the All-Star swingman seems to be progressing quickly. 

The game in Denver is a big one for both teams as they push through the final handful of games before the playoffs. 

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Note: Thibodeau said Jeff Teague remains day-to-day with an ankle injury. 

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