Report: Timberwolves’ Butler to return Friday

Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler requested a trade more than a month ago but the team has been unable to work out a deal.

After missing 17 games following left knee surgery, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Jimmy Butler will return to the lineup Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report from the New York Times.

The Wolves entered Friday with a record of 44-35 and are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Minnesota has not made the postseason since the 2003-04 season and Butler is eager to come back and help them end that streak.

The Wolves went just 8-9 in Butler’s absence.

On the season, Butler is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three.