Chris Finch to sit on Timberwolves bench for Game 1 at Denver after knee surgery

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Six days ago, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch went down with a torn patellar in his right knee after a collision with Mike Conley Jr. late in regulation of the Timberwolves’ sweep over the Phoenix Suns.

Finch confirmed before Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday night at Denver that he’ll be on the bench, sitting behind lead assistant Micah Nori. Finch had surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon on Wednesday, and was back on the practice court with the Timberwolves on Thursday, standing with crutches and his leg in a brace.

After a post surgery check-up on Friday, Finch flew to Denver. He got off the team bus when they arrived to the arena with crutches, and spoke to media before Game 1. He walked up a set of stairs and got to the microphone under his own power.

"Alright that was easy," Finch joked.

So what’s the plan?

"Feel pretty good, all things considered. The plan was to try to be here all along, just see how I felt day by day. Kind of figure out logistically how it might work being on the bench and with the other coaches," Finch said.

Nori will have more than his usual set of duties, including walking the sideline and calling out instructions to players, but Finch will be behind him in the second row.

The Timberwolves lost to the Nuggets in five games last year in the opening round of the Western Conference Finals, but Minnesota was without Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid. McDaniels broke his hand punching a cement wall in the final home game, and Reid had a fractured wrist. The Timberwolves are fully-healthy this year, and coming off the second-best regular season in franchise history with 56 wins.

The Timberwolves are in the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time in 20 years, needing four wins to get to the Western Conference Finals.