The Minnesota Timberwolves have recalled Robert Covington from the Iowa Wolves, suggesting that his return from injury may be imminent.
Robert Covington was injured in New Orleans back on New Year’s Eve in the Minnesota Timberwolves loss to the Pelicans. He hasn’t played since due to a bone bruise in his right knee.
A couple of days after being assigned to the Iowa Wolves of the G League in order to practice as part of a ramp-up in rehab, Covington has officially been recalled by the big club.
Here was the team’s press release on Saturday:
Covington has already been listed as out for Sunday evening’s game in Washington, but it’s fair to assume that he’ll be rejoining the team on the floor in the near future. Count The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski in on that thinking.
The Wolves return home to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see Covington return directly to Minneapolis from Des Moines and prepare to play at home this week.
It’s no secret that the Wolves have missed Covington mightily on both ends of the floor.
Josh Okogie has done an admirable job filling in, and while he’s more than held his own on defense, his offense leaves plenty to be desired. He’s still just 20 years old, of course, and there is plenty of development to be had.
But a shooting slash (field goal/3-point/free throw percentages) of 37.0/26.5/74.2 won’t work for a starting shooting guard on a playoff team. Covington, on the other hand, will bring his 37.8 percent shooting from deep to the team, as well as his ability to cut instinctively and effectively.
As solid as Okogie has been on defense, there still isn’t any real comparison to be made between he and Covington.
For example, Covington’s Defensive Real-Plus Minus this season is 3.13, which clocks in as second among all 88 small forwards that have seen time on the floor in the league this season. Okogie, on the other hand, is No. 34 out of 108 shooting guards in DRPM at -0.12 — not bad at all, but not quite in the realm of Covington.
At any rate, the return of Covington will be huge for the Wolves on both ends of the floor, and will allow Okogie to slide back into a bench role and provide energy in shorter bursts of minutes instead of being overexposed as a starter.