SAN ANTONIO – Jeff Teague has not played in the Wolves’ past three games, including Friday’s loss to the Spurs, but until Friday there was no time frame for when he might recover from his left ankle injury.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game Teague will be out at least another seven to 10 days to help the ankle heal and allow Teague to come back at full strength.
Teague said after a game against Brooklyn on Nov. 23 that he had rolled the ankle on Nov. 12, in his first game back from a left knee contusion that caused him to miss six games in October and November.
“It was tough, just trying to fight through it,” Teague said. “That last game in Phoenix, I just couldn’t move. The pain was just too bad. Just trying to do some things to get right.”
Teague last played against the Suns on Saturday. He was hopeful that he would be able to play through the injury and that it would get better with treatment. But that didn’t happen.
“You get to a certain point where you just feel like you don’t get any progress from all the hard work and treatment,” Teague said. “You have to look to see what’s really going on. It’s a couple more days off, just trying to get healthy.”
Derrick Rose started in Teague’s place while Jerryd Bayless was active for the second consecutive game after recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the preseason with Philadelphia. Bayless didn’t play Wednesday against the Pistons, and Thibodeau didn’t seem to think Bayless would join the rotation any time soon. With Teague out, those minutes have gone to rookie wing Josh Okogie.
Bayless said he is ready to go if Thibodeau calls his number.
“I’m good to play. I’m just kind of waiting for an opportunity to come about,” Bayless said. “Whenever that is I’ll be ready to play.”
On Wednesday, Karl-Anthony Towns started in his 277th consecutive game to start a career. The last player with such a streak was Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who played in 394 to begin his career from 2008-13. Before his 278th consecutive start, Towns said his streak was a source of pride, but he admitted there were times during the streak he probably should have let it end.
“I’ve played through some very bad injuries and injuries I can’t disclose, but I should’ve missed a good amount of time and I just fought through it, put my body on the line because I wanted to be out there for my teammates,” Towns said.
He added there were times he was “more than nicked up” but he suited up anyway.
“Sometimes [it was] strength and courage. Sometimes it’s just stupidity,” Towns said. “Some of the games I played in I shouldn’t have played in when I was that hurt. All in all, I’m very happy I was able to at least suit up.”
Pop on Rose
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he was “thrilled” to see Rose playing at a high level again given Rose’s history of injuries, and said Rose’s improved shooting this season has taken the league by surprise.
“He was one of the greatest players in the league,” he said. “He was fantastic and all of a sudden he was hurt. But he was a force. So strong at that position. … When you see somebody come back like that after this many years, you got to be thrilled for him.”