For the Wolves, help appears to be on the way.
The first sign came Monday afternoon from Cleveland, where the Wolves were getting ready to play the back end of back-to-back games with the Cavaliers. The team released its pregame injury update and Juancho Hernangomez was listed as questionable.
Hernangomez and Karl-Anthony Towns have not played since a Jan. 13 game against Memphis due to being in COVID-19 protocol. The team postponed its rematch with Memphis originally scheduled for Jan. 15, and neither has played since.
Hernangomez was in uniform Monday, but only as an emergency option, as he ramps up activity and conditioning. But he was back in uniform, and Towns is on this five-game road trip that ends Feb. 8 at Dallas. So it would appear fans could see him before long.
But Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said the team wouldn't rush anyone back before they're ready.
"As guys come back, you want to be safe, as they've been out for a significant period of time, have had to battle a number of things," Saunders said. "You want to make sure they're conditioned. So it will be an ongoing process.''
Know your rule
The Cavs rested both Larry Nance, Jr. and center Andre Drummond Monday. That means Ed Davis, who filled in as the starting center in recent games, got something of a respite. The 6-9 Davis was thrust into the starting lineup against Philadelphia and MVP candidate Joel Embiid Friday with KAT out and Naz Reid sidelined by a sore wrist.
Embiid scored 37 in the Wolves loss. Against Cleveland on Sunday, Davis got the physical Drummond, who finished with 25 points and 22 rebounds.
And while Davis did not score, he was a team-best plus-16 by the time he fouled out and had three blocks.
"Ed's a professional,'' Saunders said. "That was a point we wanted to make as a staff at our breakfast meeting, when we went over the film of last night. Ed was a plus-16 with zero points last night. To me that's the definition of a professional.''
Reid was active Monday, but Davis again got the start.
Good for starters
Installed in the starting lineup for the first time Friday and Sunday, rookie Anthony Edwards took advantage, shooting 50% both overall and on three-pointers, averaging 4.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 19.0 points.
Saunders was asked if that was just further evolution in Edwards' game, or the benefit of being with other shooters who command attention.
"It's all of the above,'' Saunders said. "You have to factor everything in. Starting for some guys works better than coming off the bench.'
Edwards got the start again Monday, finishing with 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting. So which role would be best for him going forward? "We'll see,'' Saunders said.