Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns Enters NBA Health and Safety Protocols

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, front, looks to make a pass in front of Dallas Mavericks forward Marquese Chriss, rear, in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)
AP Photo/Matt Strasen

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be without star big man Karl-Anthony Towns for Thursday's game against the Utah Jazz.

The Timberwolves announced Towns was one of multiple players who will miss the game because of health and safety protocols. He is joined by Patrick Beverley, Anthony Edwards, Josh Okogie, Taurean Prince, Jarred Vanderbilt and McKinley Wright IV in protocols. 

It wasn't all bad news for Minnesota, as Jaylen Nowell (right thumb contusion) and Naz Reid (left calf contusion) were both listed as available.

Towns is the go-to option for the team and is a double-double threat every time he takes the floor. He is averaging 24.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals per game behind 51.0 percent shooting from the field and 42.6 percent shooting from three-point range.

The absence of Towns and Edwards means the Timberwolves will be without their top two scorers against the Jazz.

Towns notably tested positive for COVID-19 in January and returned on Feb. 10 after missing 13 games during the 2020-21 campaign.         

He was not pleased with the latest development:

Karl-Anthony Towns @KarlTowns

Can’t catch a f*%@ing break!

On the court, Minnesota has made the playoffs just once since the 2003-04 season. It has the opportunity to change that pattern and reach the postseason in 2022 in large part because of Towns' dominance.

The Timberwolves are 15-16, which is good enough for the No. 9 seed and a spot in the play-in tournament in the Western Conference standings.