The Minnesota Timberwolves are not officially out of the playoff chase, but to reach that difficult goal, they'll have to do so with a decidedly shorthanded roster.
The team announced today that forward Robert Covington and guards Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague are all expected to miss the rest of the season due to injury. Rose and Teague had missed the last four games with injury, with Rose suffering with soreness and swelling in his right elbow while Teague had re-aggravated a left foot injury originally suffered in December.
An MRI of Rose's elbow revealed a chip fracture and a loose body in the elbow. He and the team are exploring further treatment options. As for Teague, he received an injection on Tuesday to treat inflammation. He will now wear a boot and will be reevaluated in three weeks.
Covington has missed the last 34 games for Minnesota because of a right knee bone bruise -- an injury he originally suffered on Dec. 31. He had been progressing well of late and was taking part in on-court activities, but had a recent setback that will require further treatment.
Minnesota is fading in the Western Conference playoff chase, having lost its last four games and eight of its last 12 overall. The Wolves are No. 10 in the West, 9 1/2 games behind the No. 8-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Seven of their remaining 11 games are against teams with a .500 or better record.
Teague and Rose are both free agents this summer. Covington, who was acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade earlier this season, is under contract through the 2021-22 season. This season, Covington averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 22 games for the Wolves.
Rose, the Kia MVP winner in 2010-11 with the Chicago Bulls, averaged 18 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 51 games in what was a career-reviving season with Minnesota. Teague averaged 12.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 8.2 apg in 42 games -- a decided downturn from his 14.2 ppg, 3 rpg and 7.0 apg in 70 games with the Wolves in 2017-18.