MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Minnesota Timberwolves center Theo Ratliff will have exploratory arthroscopic surgery next week on his right knee that has kept him out for the past month.
Ratliff will have the operation done Tuesday by surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., the team announced Thursday. No timetable for his return will be set until after the examination, but if there's no significant damage discovered he could be back soon.
Ratliff, one of five players acquired by the Wolves in the July trade that sent perennial All-Star Kevin Garnett to Boston, played in six games before removing himself from the game against Washington on Nov. 16. He hasn't played since, after averaging 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 26.8 minutes.
The 13-year veteran, who is Minnesota's highest-paid player this season at $11.67 million, will have his contract expire after the season. A bad back limited Ratliff to two games in the 2006-07 season.

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