Stephenson suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain Tuesday, which could sideline him for several weeks. The 10-day contract that he signed with Minnesota on February 8th will expire during the All-Star break, leaving the Timberwolves with a decision of whether they want to tie up a roster spot while he recovers.
“I don’t know, we’ll have to see how he responds,” Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau said tonight when asked about Stephenson’s status. “I like the things he did when he was here.”
Stephenson appeared in four games for Minnesota, averaging 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in about 12 minutes per night.
The team didn’t offer any prognosis for Stephenson’s recovery, but Zgoda notes that a Grade 2 sprain usually involves a partial ligament tear, which involves rehab of three to four weeks and sometimes longer. He twisted his left ankle in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game with the Cavaliers and had to be helped off the court.
Stephenson suffered a similar fate in November when he had a severe groin injury while playing for the Pelicans. New Orleans felt it needed a healthy player, so the team waived Stephenson to sign Archie Goodwin. The move drew criticism from around the league, and Stephenson said that although he understood why the Pelicans did it, he thought it showed a lack of faith in him.