Timberwolves' Jake Layman returns to practice after 39-game absence

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jake Layman was finally cleared Thursday to return to practice, with his absence at 39 straight games and counting because of a sprained left toe.

Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, however, does not have that clearance as he continues to sit out with a sprained left wrist.

The Timberwolves will play Friday against Boston without Towns, who missed the last game prior to the All-Star break on Feb. 12.

Coach Ryan Saunders has only said Towns will miss multiple games.

"We're obviously still looking, getting opinions that are out there," Saunders said Thursday. "You want to make the best decisions possible for himself, and also for the organization."

Towns missed 15 games earlier this season with a left knee injury. His latest setback came in the aftermath of the whirlwind week leading up the trade deadline that landed guard D'Angelo Russell, a good friend of Towns. The Russell-Towns pairing energized a downtrodden fan base, but the duo has only been on the court for one game together.

Layman, who's in his first season with Minnesota, was hurt Nov. 18 at Utah. The Timberwolves said Layman will be reevaluated in one week, meaning he'll sit out at least four more games. He sounded optimistic about being ready to play after that.

"The toe feels great. It's just that conditioning part that I need to get back," Layman said.

The 6-foot-8 Layman was averaging a career-best 10.5 points over the first 14 games, on a career-high 35.2% shooting from 3-point range.