The Minnesota Timberwolves released a statement on Tuesday evening that provided a little bit of clarity on the injury Jaden McDaniels suffered late in the fourth quarter on Monday against the San Antonio Spurs.
NEWS: Jaden McDaniels Injury Updatehttps://t.co/9AURroOIUe— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) March 16, 2022
The official statement from the team is below:
Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the following injury update on forward Jaden McDaniels, who suffered a lower leg injury at the 41.9 second mark of the fourth quarter yesterday at San Antonio:
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) taken today at Mayo Clinic Square by Dr. Kelechi Okoroha on McDaniels revealed a left ankle sprain. He will be sidelined indefinitely and reassessed in two weeks. Further updates to his progress will be issued when available.
In 67 games (31 starts) this season, McDaniels is averaging 9.4 points on 45.9% shooting, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Again, not a TON of information here, but the biggest takeaway is that McDaniels will be “reassessed in two weeks,” which does not necessarily mean that Jaden will return to the court at that time.
McDaniels had X-rays last night that showed no broken bones, a relief. But this is still a tough injury. Time estimates are hard to make right now. Could be 2 weeks, could be more than a month, according to sources. Will just have to see how he responds.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) March 16, 2022
As Jon and others on Twitter pointed out, ankle injuries can be tough to diagnose in terms of a specific recovery timeline. Two weeks from the original team statement would bring us to March 29, which means Jaden would miss six games. If he’s forced to miss additional time, he runs the risk of missing the remainder of the regular season, as there’s only six games remaining after March 29.
That’s pretty disappointing for a player who had secured such a vital two-way role for the Timberwolves, but ever the optimist, I must at least say that when Jaden ORIGINALLY went down and grabbed at his knee, I was ready to just pack it all in and go home. The fact that it was deemed “just” an ankle sprain is a pretty big relief, considering what the worst case scenarios could have been.
Until Jaden does return — whether that be in two weeks or for the beginning of the postseason — I’d imagine Chris Finch will lean even more into Taurean Prince and maybe even bring back Josh Okogie into the rotation. The Timberwolves are pretty banged up all of the sudden with injuries to Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Naz Reid, Jordan McLaughlin, and now Jaden, so Chris Finch will definitely have his hands full as he tries to pull the right strings down the stretch.
Finch says McDaniels has a high ankle sprain— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) March 16, 2022
Chris Finch confirmed earlier this morning at shootaround that Jaden did indeed suffer a high ankle sprain, which is... not good. The likelihood of Jaden returning during the regular season is pretty low at this point, but all we can do for now is hope that his rehab goes well and that he can be ready to go come postseason play.