ATLANTA – For several weeks, the Timberwolves and Robert Covington have been waiting patiently for his right knee bone bruise to heal. Now he appears close to a return.

The Wolves assigned Covington to their G-League affiliate in Iowa so he could practice while the Wolves are on their road trip. The plan for Covington is only to practice and not play in any games, interim coach Ryan Saunders said.

“I think people could definitely assume that’s a step in the right direction,” Saunders said. “We want to see how his body reacts, how he reacts and we move forward.”

The Wolves won’t play another home game until March 5 against Oklahoma City.

Covington has been out since Jan. 2 because of the bone bruise, a total of 23 games.

A new face

Joining the Wolves for Wednesday’s game was 6-8, 225-pound forward Cameron Reynolds, who is on a 10-day contract. Reynolds attended Tulane and played in 33 games for the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G-League affiliate, averaging 16 points per game.

Reynolds was in Greensboro, N.C., with the Team USA FIBA qualifying team when he got a call from his agent late Monday that the Wolves were signing him.

Reynolds said he met the team for the first time Tuesday night when they arrived in Atlanta.

“It’s been definitely a whirlwind …” Reynolds said. “It’s just moving kind of fast, so I’m just happy to be here and I’m thankful for the opportunity that they gave me.”

Reynolds is the second player the Wolves have signed to a 10-day contract this season after they signed point guard Isaiah Canaan to two.

Reynolds said he reviewed some plays with Saunders and assistant Larry Greer on Tuesday and participated in shootaround Wednesday.

“It’s going kind of fast, but at the end of the day it’s just basketball,” Reynolds said. “Once you just learn all the concepts, we run a lot of the same stuff in my G-League team. It’s a smooth transition so far right now.”

Appreciating Carter

Saunders, 32, is 10 years younger than Hawks guard-forward Vince Carter, When told of that fact after shootaround, Saunders laughed. “I didn’t even think about that. Geez,” Saunders said. “He was one of those guys you looked up to as a young basketball fan and basketball player.”

Carter went for 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting off the bench Wednesday and was a plus-21 in 27 minutes.

“It’s a big credit to him in terms of how he takes care of his body and how he approaches the game,” Saunders said of Carter’s longevity.

Etc.

• The Wolves suffered another injury as forward Luol Deng exited because of a left Achilles’ injury. After the game Deng said the injury wouldn’t require any further testing but he wasn’t sure of his status for Thursday’s game against the Pacers.

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