Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
On Sunday, Al Jefferson returned to the floor and posted 14 points in 16 minutes of action. That's great news for the Minnesota Timberwolves and fantasy owners as Jefferson was in the midst of becoming a premier fantasy player when he went down with a knee injury last winter.
The 24-year-old power forward/center was coming off a monster 2007 campaign (21.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg) when he was injured in early February. The torn ACL in his right knee ended another solid season - he played 50 games and averaged 23.1 ppg and 11.0 rpg.
Jefferson's Average Draft Position (ADP) in 2008 was 26.2 and based on early "returns" in 2009 he's getting even more respect despite having to rehab from the knee injury. His current ADP stands at 13 putting him ahead of such stars as Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison.
The team needs him to be at full strength as do fantasy owners. Last year he averaged 19.5 of the team's 82 shot-attempts-per-game. That's about 23.6% of the team's total shots.
Still, I'd be concerned about the knees. He was seen icing them down after last Thursday's scrimmage. Although the team called it "precautionary" you can assume that he'll miss a few games here and there during the upcoming season when they act up.
Al Jefferson Career Statistics