It appears the Minnesota Timberwolves will be without forward Robert Covington for a little more time.

The Timberwolves aren’t exactly setting the NBA world on fire this season. With a 26-30 record, they find themselves in 12th place in the Western Conference.

That being said, they’re still just four games back from the Sacramento Kings for the eighth seed. So this isn’t exactly welcome news.

Covington is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, able to defend anyone one-on-one. The Timberwolves could use that defense, as they’re currently a bottom-half team in points allowed.

Not only is he an incredible defensive player (2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per game), but Covington can shoot the lights out from distance. He’s currently averaging 13.3 points per game on 37.8 percent from 3-land. That makes him one of their deadliest threats from deep.

Besides being in the top five on the team in points and rebounds (5.5) per game, Covington’s second on the team in blocks per game and leads the team in steals per game.

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His all-around contributions clearly make him an extremely valuable member of the roster. With him, the Timberwolves could easily make a run at a playoff spot.

However, the longer he sits out, the deeper of a hole they could dig themselves in.

It’s a good sign that Covington is able to do more and more each day. Clearly a return is on the horizon. How far away the horizon is seems to be the concern, though.

With that being said, there’s more good news. With the All-Star break right around the corner, the Timberwolves have just one game in the next 10 days. That should give Covington plenty of time to rest up. If in the end he misses just that one game, it’s hard not to view that as a positive.

Should he miss more time after that, things could get bleak for Minnesota.

Right now, however, Covington should focus on getting healthy, as that’s more important than anything else.