Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns went down mid-way through the third quarter of tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards with a non-contact injury to his right leg. Towns immediately grabbed high on his right calf and couldn’t put any weight on his right leg, before needing to be helped off the floor.
Here's the play Karl-Anthony Towns was injured on.— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) November 29, 2022
Best wishes for KAT pic.twitter.com/A1dRnnyYMo
Thankfully, Towns was diagnosed in the arena with a right calf strain, per Timberwolves PR. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Towns will miss four-to-six weeks with the injury.
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a right calf strain, sources tell ESPN. Towns underwent imaging on Tuesday and the expectation exists for a full recovery and return sometime in January.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 29, 2022
The ever-dependable Towns was extremely calm when it went down and had next to no reaction on his face while he was down on the ground waiting for team personnel to come out onto the floor and check on him. He declined immediate help up from his teammates. Instead, Towns remained on the ground for over a minute before asking for assistance rising to his feet, very intentional to put zero weight on his right leg.
The three-time All-Star had eight points, four assists and two rebounds across 22 minutes played when he left the floor with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter.
The injury is a major blow to a Wolves team still looking to build chemistry on the floor with its full starting five available. While Towns is out, expect forward Kyle Anderson and F/C Naz Reid to receive more minutes, especially considering the Timberwolves are currently without key forwards Jaden McDaniels (illness) and Taurean Prince (right shoulder sublaxation).
Minnesota could return to more of a spread out, pick-and-roll centric offense that we saw Rudy Gobert thrive in during his tenure with the Utah Jazz, so as to best optimize Gobert’s impact as the sole center on the floor, like Wolves Head Coach Chris Finch did in the third and fourth quarters of tonight’s game. But until Wednesday, it’s all just a best guess as to what may transpire in the extended absence of a generationally gifted offensive player.
Towns will miss 4-6 weeks with a right calf strain, per Woj.— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) November 29, 2022
If he misses 4 weeks, that's 13 games.
If he missed 6 weeks, that's 20 games.
Major gut check time for the Wolves over that span, whatever it ends up being.
Nine of those first 13 games and 14 of the 20 in the six-week frame are against projected playoff opponents. Minnesota will need Gobert, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell to all take a major step forward if they want to stay afloat in a Western Conference that is shaping up to be a bloodbath over the second half of the season.
Towns is averaging 21.4 points on 50.8/32.8/89.8 shooting splits, 8.5 rebounds and a career-best 5.4 assists to go along with 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks across 20 games played so far this season.