Rick Adelman Returns to Minnesota Timberwolves After Leave of Absence

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2013

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman has returned to the organization after an extended leave of absence.

According to the T-Wolves’ official public relations Twitter feed, the coach was at practice on Monday morning.

There's a chance Adelman returns to the sidelines on Wednesday night, as he told Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press he would coach if allowed against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Adelman had been away from the team since January 5, as his wife—Mary Kay—was reportedly hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. Assistant Terry Porter took over coaching duties in the interim, but clearly struggled to be an effective leader.

Under Porter, the Wolves went a pitiful 2-9 and have fallen far behind the pack for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference.

Adelman’s presence will be instrumental in any sort of turnaround, as Minnesota was exactly .500 (15-15) prior to his leave of absence.

The most important thing to note is that the veteran HC’s troubles seem to be in the rearviewmirror. Club president David Kahn made it clear (via Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press) he would prefer the longtime coach to make sure his affairs were in order before returning—rather than coming and going from his duties.

At 17-24 and ravaged by injury, the Wolves certainly need stability now more than ever.

Players like star power forward Kevin Love, rookie guard Alexey Shved, veteran signing Brandon Roy and bruising center Nikola Pekovic have been dealing with numerous injuries over the course of the campaign. The inconsistency has clearly been impacting the T-Wolves' ability to put a winning product on the court.

Adelman started his career back in 1988 and has a record of 988-680. With him calling the shots, the team looked like a postseason contender. Under Porter, Minnesota floundered and dropped out of the running.

There’s still exactly half a season to right this ship, but the T-Wolves stars must get healthy and Adelman needs to remain at his post for this to happen.