Updated injury timeline for Karl-Anthony Towns offers Timberwolves glimmer of hope

Karl-Anthony Towns has a chance to return this year, a massive development for the Minnesota Timberwolves based on his initial prognosis.

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns was ruled out indefinitely earlier this week due to a torn meniscus in his left knee, which had many wondering if we’d see the big man return at any point this season and whether he played his last game with the Wolves.

However, the most recent injury timeline suggests there is hope for KAT to return this year.

Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns expected to return by playoffs

ESPN’s Senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Towns will have surgery to repair his meniscus and be “re-evaluated in a month,” under the expectation he will be ready to return “by early in the Western Conference playoffs.”

That is encouraging news for Minnesota’s title hopes after Towns got ominously ruled out with a concerning knee injury and no clear timetable to return. It initially felt like he may not return at all this year.

The Timberwolves will have to get through the remainder of the regular season without Towns based on Wojnarowski’s recent update in a tight race for the No. 1 seed in the conference. 

Sitting at 44-19 atop the West, three games separate the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers from the Wolves, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets sandwiched between. Basketball Reference’s playoff probabilities report gives Minnesota a 45.3 percent chance of securing first place by the season’s end.

With Towns seemingly on ice until the postseason, he averaged 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting a career-high 42.3 percent from beyond the arc in 60 regular season games. Hopefully, he can replicate that production and look no worse for wear when deemed ready to play again.

Until then, veteran wing Kyle Anderson and talented young big man Naz Reid will take on more sizable roles to fill the void left by Towns. The Timberwolves also recently signed forward T.J. Warren to a 10-day contract.

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