By Ben Golliver
The Josh Howard era in Minnesota will end after just 11 games.
The Timberwolves announced Thursday that Howard will be released after he suffered a torn right ACL during a Dec. 14 win over the Hornets.TwinCities.com reported following the game that the Timberwolves initially termed Howard's injury as a "hyperextension."
Howard, 32, signed with the Timberwolves in mid-November as Minnesota dealt with a litany of injury issues. Guard Will Conroy was released to make room for Howard at the time. Howard appeared in 11 games, starting four times, and averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Minnesota has seen forward Chase Budinger, guard Brandon Roy and guard Malcolm Lee suffer knee injuries this year and they just welcomed star guard Ricky Rubio back to the lineup on Dec. 15 after a long-term knee injury. All-Star forward Kevin Love is also back in the lineup after missing time earlier this season with a broken hand.
A torn ACL generally carries a recovery timeline of 9-12 months so this was effectively a season-ending injury. Releasing Howard will bring Minnesota's roster down to 14 players, providing GM David Kahn one roster spot to look for help on the wing. Howard has played for the Mavericks, Wizards, Jazz and Timberwolves during his 10-year NBA career. He has only played in a combined 107 games since the beginning of the 2009-10 season because of a variety of injuries, including a torn left ACL in 2010.