Is Jaden McDaniels playing tonight? Injury update for Heat vs. Wolves

Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been a long wait for the Minnesota Timberwolves and starting small forward Jaden McDaniels to compete for the Wolves. In fact, the last time that the Timberwolves actively saw McDaniels compete in meaningful basketball was April 9, 2023, when the Timberwolves defeated the New Orleans Pelicans to earn an all-important eighth seeding in the NBA Western Conference of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

A great deal of changes have occurred since that time. For starters, the Timberwolves have managed to extend Naz Reid, Anthony Davis, and Jaden McDaniels in the same off-season. But perhaps just as importantly, the Timberwolves roster appears to have been ever-so-slightly upgraded in key roles.

Now it’s time for the Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1) to showcase their talents

Jaden McDaniels Injury Status for tonight’s game against the Miami Heat

The current injury status of SF Jaden McDaniels remains a Game Time Decision for the Minnesota Timberwolves. If you need that extra bit of optimism, McDaniels did finally return as a full participant to team practice on Friday, October 27, 2023:

The Timberwolves would certainly welcome McDaniels to the fold, but the preseason optimism of his return has been tempered a bit with delays to what was originally reported as a minor calf strain.

With his full participation in the latest practice, I would be very surprised to learn that McDaniels is not playing in front of the home crowd at Target Center.

Jaden McDaniels’s injury history

McDaniels had been a rather durable player until recent events. In 2023, he has suffered two injuries:

  • Left calf strain – October 6-28, 2023 – left calf strain (5 games)
  • Hand fracture – April 9-25, 2023 – fractured hand (7 games)

Who would replace McDaniels in the Timberwolves lineup?

Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch has opted to go with Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the past, and that would likely be the case in this one as well. While he has given it the ole’ college try, NAW has struggled in both the preseason and in the season opener filling in for McDaniels so far.

Minnesota Timberwolves next 5 opponents

After facing the Miami Heat, the Timberwolves must face:

  1. Oct 30 @ Atlanta Hawks (41-41, 3-2 preseason, 0-2 2023-24 season)
  2. Nov 1 Denver Nuggets (53-29, 3-2 preseason, 2-0 2023-24 season)
  3. Nov 4 Utah Jazz (37-45, 3-2 preseason, 1-1 2023-24 season)
  4. Nov 6 Boston Celtics (57-25, 4-1 preseason, 2-0 2023-24 season)
  5. Nov 8 New Orleans Pelicans (42-40, 1-3 preseason, 1-0 2023-24 season)

That’s not going to be an easy task.

Minnesota Timberwolves Injury Report

Rookie shooting guard Jaylen Clark remains out as he is recovering from an Achilles Tendon rupture, and will likely be out through January 2024.

UPDATE: Minnesota Timberwolves HC Chris Finch has ruled Jaden McDaniels OUT for game 2.

That should translate into Nickeil Alexander-Walker getting the start.

Miami Heat Injury Report

The Miami Heat are dealing with three injured players, the first of which is forward Haywood Highsmith who is OUT from an ankle sprain

Shooting guard Josh Richardson is OUT with a foot injury.  Small forward Caleb Martin is also listed as OUT as a result of a knee injury.

UPDATE: The Miami Heat will face the Minnesota Timberwolves without four players.

Jimmy Butler is also ruled OUT, resting due to the second game of a back-to-back. That’s the fourth consecutive game that Jimmy Butler will not face the Timberwolves at Target Center.

This is a vital game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Let’s hope for a win.

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