There was a small but positive development for the Timberwolves on the injury front before Sunday's game against Denver — guard Josh Okogie worked out before the game with assistant Kevin Burleson.
Okogie missed Sunday's game, his third consecutive game out because of a left hamstring strain suffered against the Lakers last week.
"Seeing him working out is a good step toward recovery," coach Ryan Saunders said, "So, we'll still need to cross certain thresholds, but it's a good step for him."
One of those thresholds includes Okogie returning to practice, which he may be able to do on Monday. The Wolves have missed Karl-Anthony Towns as he recovers from a dislocated left wrist, but they have also missed the presence of their best and most versatile defender in Okogie. The Wolves lost in blowouts in the three games before Sunday's.
"We miss his spirit," Saunders said. "His spirit is something that really helps us. That Utah win between him and Karl, those guys lift the group. They're our longest-tenured guys here and we do miss them. We miss Josh, but especially on the defensive end. We know he's a very talented individual defender, but he's also a defensive leader."
Okogie handled the responsibility of guarding taller forward Blake Griffin in the Wolves' opening-night win over Detroit. Since his absence, the Wolves have been scrambling to find someone to help guard that position effectively on a regular basis.
"You have to have the fight in you," Saunders said. "You have to have fighting instincts, and Josh has both of those things. So it's not easy, but the biggest thing is just stay solid. That's ultimately what I feel makes a good defender."
No update on Towns
When the Wolves announced Towns would be out indefinitely because of a dislocated wrist, they announced he would be re-evaluated on a weekly basis. Sunday marked a week since that announcement.
Saunders wasn't sure what day that evaluation would take place but said it would be "early this week."
"I know we're on about a week from when we kind of found all this out, but I don't have an exact date on when that evaluation would be," Saunders said. "It would be early this week though, staying in that weekly update."
It didn't sound like Towns' return was imminent.
Saunders added that guard Jaylen Nowell, who has been out because of a calf strain, was "coming along."
"He did more cutting [Saturday]," Saunders said. "He did a number of things through other practices."
A little taste of home
The Wolves installed a 70-inch TV screen at the end of the court that will help families connect with family members before home games.
The Wolves' players and coaches can have Zoom sessions with their families on the screen during warmups. The Wolves are hopeful that when they welcome fans into Target Center, they will be able to allow friends and family of players and coaches as the first step in bringing fans back into the building.