The Minnesota Timberwolves may have dodged a serious bullet, with news that the injury to Karl-Antony Towns is not believed to be serious and his return could be very soon.
Towns went down late in Saturday’s overtime win over the Washington Wizards, with the talented big man taking himself off the court and going to the locker room, where he was given an MRI to assess the damage. While the injury could have been devastating to a team teetering at the edge of playoff contention at six games out of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Twitter that “there is optimism about the MRI results.”
The Star-Tribune confirmed from a team source that Towns avoided any serious injury. He was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks.
Towns has been an iron man for the Wolves, missing only two games in his entire NBA career, and those coming earlier this year after he was involved in a car crash in February. Any chance the Timberwolves might have of reaching the playoffs this season likely rests on Anthony’s shoulders. He has been the league’s hottest player since the All-Star break, and in the last five games has hit the 40-point mark three times, Bleacher Report noted.
The talented big man’s teammates have noted how much his torrid stretch has meant for the team.
“He’s just amazing what he’s doing the last couple games, last couple weeks,” said forward Dario Saric (via TwinCities.com).
“The stats he’s putting up, it’s just amazing. I wish we had a couple guys more who can follow him and be in a better position, but he’s just doing his job and he’s amazing. All of the guys are really focused and trying to do what is their best, and obviously KAT is the biggest guy on the floor for us.”
Karl Anthony Towns has put up some serious numbers since his near death experience in a car accident February 15th. pic.twitter.com/BoY9F6IRda
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) March 6, 2019
The TwinCities.com report noted that the Wolves need more contributions from players outside of Towns, and that has been sorely lacking this season. Wolves interim coach Ryan Saunders said that Towns has been selfless this season, not focusing on personal accolades even though he appears to be headed to the All-NBA team this season. That could give a big payday for Towns, as TwinCities.com noted that a spot on the All-NBA team would give Karl-Anthony Towns an additional $30 million on the max extension he signed last offseason, making his new contract five years, $190 million.