The All-NBA big man has missed the team’s last 52 games since he suffered the injury on November 28 against the Washington Wizards. Minnesota went 26-26 in that span without their franchise cornerstone.
Perhaps the best news in Towns’ return is that he will not have any restrictions, according to KAT himself. Here’s what he told Shelburne.
Towns said he doesn’t anticipate any restrictions once he’s back despite the lengthy rehabilitation process he’s been through over the past four months.
“I’m just trying to pick up where I left off,” Towns said. “I was telling my dad right before I got hurt, I felt the most complete as a player in my career. From defensive end, from offensive end, from a mental aspect, leadership aspect ... I felt very complete.”
That seems to clear up whether or not Towns will start, as it is much easier to control a player’s minutes while on a minutes restriction when he comes off the bench. I’m sure Wolves Head Coach Chris Finch will clear up whether or not Towns will have any type of guard rails in place to protect his star big man pregame, so stay tuned for that.
Towns said the nearly four months off gave the three-time All-Star plenty of opportunity to see where he can improve and how he can best impact a team that is radically different from the one he left in November.
Throughout the season, Towns kept a notebook with his observations of the team. He’d share them with teammates and coaches — anything to feel like he was contributing.
“I don’t feel like I lost the step,” Towns said. “I actually gained steps because I’ve been able to learn from a different aspect, in a way that I’ve never looked from just sitting on the sideline.
Just one year removed from his selection as the Third Team All-NBA center, Towns is averaging 20.8 points on 50.5/32.5/88.5 shooting splits, 8.2 rebounds and a career-high 5.3 assists in 33.8 minutes per game across 21 contests, all starts.
What’s your prediction for KAT in his first game back?