The Wolves provided an injury update today on Robert Covington, Jeff Teague, and Derrick Rose, announcing that all three of them are expected to miss the remainder of the season. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means more playing time for the youngsters we are eager to see develop, but it has its downsides. Let’s go through it quickly:
Robert Covington was progressing from his bone bruise suffered at the New Year, but has had an unspecified set-back. Covington is obviously a vital player for the Wolves—a true three-and-D guy that they desperately need. This season is obviously caput, the only real fear here is that this affects him going forward beyond this season. Let’s hope he can get it completely cleared up this summer.
Jeff Teague has a left foot problem for which he received an injection to treat “chronic inflammation.” The team reports that he will be in a boot for the next few weeks before re-evaluation. This means Tyus Jones is your starting point guard for the rest of the season before entering restricted free agency, and also means more than we want of Jerryd Bayless. Teague has appeared in 42 games this season after playing in at least 70 in every previous season of his career. The real disappointment here is it likely dashes any faint hope the Wolves had of getting off that $19M player option for next season.
Derrick Rose: Has a chip fracture in his elbow. I find the games much more enjoyable when Rose is not playing, so I won’t pretend to be devastated by this news. Rose has appeared in 51 games this season, and has been in and out of the lineup with injuries throughout. Hopefully his dubious availability will stop the Wolves from bringing him back next season despite the organization’s apparent love for him.
One wonders if they players and/or the team would have been more aggressive about these injuries if they were still in the playoff chase, but it’s clearly the right move to shut guys down at this point. While I don’t endorse tanking, and hope and expect the available players to try to win every time they go out there, wins aren’t particularly helpful at this point, and there is no reason to mess around with anyone’s health. The most important thing for the Wolves is to give their players the best possible treatment. It’s particularly vital that they figure out what’s happening with Covington and get it solved.