Coach Monty Williams said Ayton (ankle) participated in non-contact portions of Thursday's practice, Gina Mizell of The Athletic reports.

This is certainly an encouraging development for Ayton, who underwent an MRI on his left ankle Wednesday. While the test results are not yet known, leaving the big man without a firm timetable for his return, it's worth noting that Williams said he "for sure" expects Ayton back this season. That said, Ayton seems unlikely to be available for Friday's game against Portland.

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