The Minnesota Timberwolves declined to confirm guard Anthony Peeler would be fined for missing Monday's preseason game for an unexcused absence.
Coach Flip Saunders said Wednesday the matter was being handled internally.
Peeler said he missed the game in Chicago because he was physically tired and emotionally distracted after returning from Hawaii, where he attended the funeral of his fiancee's grandmother.
Saunders had said Tuesday that Peeler would be fined, and media accounts said he was subject to a fine of 1/90th of his $3.22 million salary, or $35,777.
Peeler's agent, Bradley Marshall, said Wednesday he hadn't heard from the team yet about a fine.
out of preseason
The Minnesota Timberwolves don't need the regular season to start. They need a vacation already.
With a week to go until their season-opener against Denver, the Wolves are just trying to make it out of the preseason in one piece. At least two starters aren't expected to play Oct. 30 against the Nuggets. One of them -- point guard Terrell Brandon -- may not rejoin the team for months.
Wally Szczerbiak is still recovering from a dislocated toe, leaving Kevin Garnett and Rasho Nesterovic as the only starters who aren't hurt. On the bench, point guard Troy Hudson missed two games with a pulled groin and his backup, Randy Livingston, has been hobbled by a sprained ankle.
And since Felipe Lopez is out for season after tearing a ligament in his knee last week, Hudson has only Igor Rakocevic and rookie Marcus Taylor as his backups. Coach Flip Saunders said Kendall Gill may have to play the point.
Who's been the busiest person on the team so far?
"Our trainer," said starting forward Joe Smith, who's sidelined with an injured groin he suffered the first week of October.
Vikings sign rookie kicker Epstein
Rookie place kicker Hayden Epstein signed with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, giving himself a chance to be tutored by the NFL's all-time leading scorer.
Waived by Jacksonville a day earlier, Epstein replaces Doug Brien, who was told by coach Mike Tice during practice Wednesday afternoon that he had been released.
Gary Anderson, brought out of retirement after Brien missed a pair of extra points and a field goal in a Week 2 overtime loss to Buffalo, will continue to kick extra points and field goals.
But Anderson -- whose 2,148 points are more than anyone else has -- will serve as a mentor to Epstein, who'll handle kickoffs.
"Doug's done a great job on kickoffs," Tice said. "He said he was sorry for putting us in that position. It's one of those decisions you don't like to make, but we'd like to have Gary help develop a young kicker."
Ideally for the Vikings, Anderson would've been the kicker all along. He doesn't have the leg strength to kick off, though, so the team felt it couldn't afford to tie up two roster spots for place kickers.
RB Doug Chapman, hospitalized with an abdominal injury, was placed on injured reserve and is out for the season. He was in the intensive care unit Monday with internal bleeding after waking up with severe abdominal pain, probably from a hit he sustained on a kickoff return in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.
Chapman is expected to make a full recovery, but the Vikings couldn't afford to wait.
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