The Minnesota Timberwolves are likely to only have three players still in health and safety protocols for Friday’s game in Salt Lake City, although two of their best three players are likely to remain out.
The Minnesota Timberwolves roster is getting close to full strength
Just days ago, eight players from the Minnesota Timberwolves roster were on the health and safety protocols list. The Wolves signed three players to 10-day contracts and were down to only 10 players dressed and available for a couple of games.
Now, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and KSTP reports that Jarred Vanderbilt has exited COVID-19 protocols and should be available to play on Friday against the Utah Jazz.
Vanderbilt has not played since Sunday, Dec. 19, a home win over the Dallas Mavericks. The Wolves have gone 1-3 in his absence, and only Anthony Edwards, who also missed the win over the Mavs but exited protocols on Tuesday and should be available Friday, will have been out longer.
Just this past Monday, the Wolves had all five starters missing and only played two regular members of the rotation in the win over the Boston Celtics.
If Vanderbilt and Edwards both play on Friday in Salt Lake City, the Wolves will have three of their five starters back and will only have three players remaining on the health and safety protocols list.
Of course, two of the three players still out are Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, who have each missed two games and haven’t played since last Thursday — which, coincidentally was also a road game at the Jazz. Two-way player McKinley Wright IV is the other player still in health and safety protocols.
The 10-day contracts signed by Chris Silva and Rayjon Tucker are set to expire following the game against the Jazz. It will be interesting to see if the Wolves bring one or both of them back for a second contract; Silva has played a total of three minutes and Tucker has not seen the floor.
Following Friday in Utah, the Wolves will head to Los Angeles to take on both the Lakers and the Clippers in back-to-back games at Staples Center next Sunday and Monday. Sunday would mark 10 days since Towns entered the protocols, while Monday would be 10 for Russell.