Karl-Anthony Towns Reportedly Expected to Miss Multiple Games with Wrist Injury

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 13, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The Kings won 113-109. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns missed Wednesday night's 115-108 loss to the Charlotte Hornets with a left wrist injury, which could linger beyond the All-Star break. 

"Exactly how long Towns will be out with a left wrist injury remains unknown, but it is expected that he will miss multiple games when the Wolves resume playing after the break next week," The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Thursday.

The Timberwolves relayed Wednesday that Towns "will be further evaluated over the All-Star break." Minnesota's next game is not scheduled until Friday, Feb. 21.

Krawczynski added: "Towns had been dealing with pain in his wrist for the last few weeks, but with no discernible improvement, he went in for further testing. The Wolves did not specify the nature of the injury, but league sources told The Athletic that Towns will likely need more time than the nine-day break to return to action."

Towns has missed 18 games this season. The 2015 No. 1 overall pick suffered a left knee sprain in a Dec. 13 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and did not return to game action until Jan. 17. He also missed one game during that span with flu-like symptoms.

This year aside, Towns' attendance has been nearly perfect. The 24-year-old played in all 82 regular-season games in each of his first three seasons in the league, and he played 77 regular-season games last season.

Head coach Ryan Saunders went with a small lineup without Towns against the Hornets—starting forward James Johnson, forward Juan Hernangomez, guard D'Angelo Russell, guard Malik Beasley and guard Josh Okogie. Rookie undrafted center Naz Reid saw increased minutes from the bench, too.

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That should be the expected approach post-All-Star break if Towns' wrist injury persists.

Towns will be able to focus on getting healthy over the All-Star break. The Kentucky product was not selected to the All-Star Game despite being seventh in the Western Conference in scoring average among players with at least 35 games played. "I'm worried about our team, about getting W's," Towns told Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. "I'm desensitized to being disrespected in this league. I've been disrespected since I came in." 

Towns will likely use yet another snub as motivation in the second half of the season. He should be extra motivated to return to the floor as soon as possible to play alongside Russell. The Wolves acquired Russell from Golden State before last week's trade deadline, sending Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors. Towns and Russell are close friends.

"I think with D-Lo here, it's always going to be a big incentive for me to want to stay," Towns told Krawczynski on Friday. "D-Lo is a big part of everything the vision is. D-Lo always knows he's going to be wanted because his brother is here with him and he always knows he's going to have his back covered because I'm always going to be there for him."

Towns is averaging 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds in 33.9 minutes for the 16-37 Timberwolves.