Timberwolves center/forward Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a right calf strain suffered in Monday’s loss to the Wizards, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The team released a statement confirming Towns’ injury following an MRI. At first, it looked as if it could be an Achilles injury, given that Towns just sort of fell while running, then grasped at his lower leg.
But there is no structural damage to the Achilles, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. So the All-Star big man should be able to return sometime in January.
The Timberwolves, expected to be serious contenders in the Western Conference, are off to an uneven start, falling to 10-11 after the loss to the Wizards. Now, they will need someone else to step up, or perhaps replace Towns by committee.
“We all got to raise our level,” center Rudy Gobert said, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He’s a great player, so you can’t really replace him, but every single one of us is going to have to give more and it’s going to be hard. We don’t have a choice. We got to keep fighting.”
Towns, 27, is averaging 21.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and a career-high 5.3 assists, and shooting 51 percent from the field, in 20 games. He also at a career-best 90 percent clip on free throws.
He was selected by the Timberwolves with the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, and has been their centerpiece ever since. He carries career averages of 23.1 points, 11.2 boards and 53 percent shooting.
“We’re going to have to look at what our options are with who else is available at that point,” coach Chris Finch said after Towns’ injury Monday, via Hine. “We’ll just have to figure that out.”
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