Between injury and unhappiness, it's been a tumultuous year for Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Karl-Anthony Towns missed the Timberwolves‘ final game before the All-Star break due to a left wrist injury. At the time, the Wolves didn’t provide many details on Towns’ exact diagnosis or his return timeline, simply announcing that he’d be evaluated over the break.

The club still hasn’t issued a formal update on Towns’ status, but league sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that the big man will likely need more than just the nine-day All-Star break before he’s ready to return to action. According to Krawczynski, Minnesota’s franchise player has been dealing with pain in his wrist for multiple weeks, prompting further testing.

With a 16-37 record this season, the Timberwolves won’t be incentivized to rush Towns back before he’s ready. The team currently has the fourth-worst record in the NBA but is only separated from the league’s eighth-worst team by two games, as our reverse standings show. The Wolves still own their 2020 first-round pick and would benefit from improving their lottery odds this spring, so they’ll likely be extra cautious with their leading score and won’t be concerned if his absence costs them a couple wins.

On the other hand, the Timberwolves just overhauled their roster at the trade deadline, acquiring potential building blocks like D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. The club presumably wants a chance to observe how those players mesh with Towns down the stretch — that’s especially true for guys like Beasley and Juan Hernangomez, who will be free agents at season’s end.

We’ll have to wait for official word from the Wolves on Towns’ recovery timetable, but based on Krawczynski’s report, it sounds like he may not be ready to go when the team resumes play next Friday against the Celtics.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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