Rick Adelman

Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman helped restore hope in this downtrodden franchise when he came aboard before last season. So the Timberwolves have missed him. In some ways, though, Adelman may need the Wolves as much as they need him.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition. Adelman said he delayed his return until he felt it would be for good. He said his wife is improving and he hopes the worst is over.

”It’s hard,” Adelman said, referring to his absence. ”I’ve never done this. It’s never happened. But there’s some things that are more important than basketball or anything else. I think the team understands that. Hopefully things will settle down here now.”

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press