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Garnett out indefinitely with injured right quadriceps

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett
is out indefinitely with an injured right quadriceps.

Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said
Wednesday night that the injury has bothered the former MVP for
months, and that Garnett and his agent decided it was time to shut
it down and seek a second opinion before going forward.

McHale said Garnett will visit doctors in the next day or two
and will miss at least two of the team's five remaining games. They
will wait to see what the doctors say before Garnett decides if he
will return at all this season.

Garnett is averaging 22.4 points and a league-leading 12.8
rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were eliminated from postseason
contention on Monday.

Garnett attended the morning shootaround on Wednesday in
preparation for the night's game against Dallas, but sat down with
McHale afterward and told him of the decision. He was not at Target
Center for the 105-88 loss to Dallas.

"After talking with Mac and our medical staff, I realized that
it's in my best interest to put my body first," Garnett said in a
statement issued by the team. "I need to take this matter more
seriously than I have been. I want to make sure that I correct this
for the future, so that it is not an ongoing problem."

In his 12th season, Garnett is averaging 39.4 minutes, a
workload that has worried McHale all season. McHale called the
injury a "chronic use" issue, and thinks that the years of
logging heavy minutes may be catching up with him.

"I've talked about that for three or four years," McHale said.
"The minutes he logs are really ... Wow. To me, it's amazing he's
able to do that and stay as healthy as he is."

In his previous three games, Garnett averaged just 14.0 points.
He shot 7-of-23 in Monday night's loss to Toronto.

"It's been apparent to me in the last three games that he has
struggled to score," owner Glen Taylor said. "Kevin plays through
being hurt a lot. He doesn't complain much. I don't know any more
than you do. I take him at his word that he'd play if he could."

Garnett's agent, Andy Miller, did not immediately return a phone
message left by The Associated Press.

The news took Garnett's teammates by surprise. Neither Ricky
Davis, Rashad McCants nor Mike James knew about the problem until
informed by reporters following McHale's press conference.

Garnett rarely discusses things that are bothering him, and it
appears that this situation is no different.

"He's a soldier," Davis said. "If he's hurt, you would never
know it unless something was broke or something. I just hope he's
all right."

The situation is similar to last season. With the Wolves
eliminated from postseason contention, Garnett sat out the final
six games with tendinitis in his right knee.

"I don't know if it's a similar problem, right leg," McHale
said. "He's had problems off and on. As a player, when you go
through chronic stuff after a while ... at least if you find out
exactly what it is so you can take a course of action."

If Garnett does not return this season, there will be
speculation that he has played his last game for the Timberwolves.
He can opt out of his contract after the 2007-08 season, and the
Wolves could entertain trade offers this summer, or through the
trade deadline next season, to avoid losing him without
compensation.

Garnett has never indicated that he would seek a trade, but he
has expressed frustration through another disappointing season in
which the Wolves will miss the playoffs for the third straight
year.

"Consistency, not being able to have an identity, we never
established that from day one," Garnett said at the shootaround.
"We always flirted with being a really good defensive team but
never truly wanted to do that. Some nights we wanted to run and be
an up-and-down team. We'd do that some nights but never really
committed to that. You have to get some consistency in what you're
doing."