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Karl-Anthony Towns injury update: Timberwolves optimistic All-Star can return before playoffs, per report

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The Minnesota Timberwolves got some great news with the playoffs just a week-and-a-half away. All-Star forward Karl-Anthony Towns participated in his first scrimmage on Sunday after being sidelined since March 7 with a knee injury that required surgery. The Wolves are optimistic the big man could return before the playoffs begin, per Shams Charania. It’s unclear when exactly we could see Towns make his return, but the Timberwolves close out the last week of the regular season with a home game against the Wizards on Tuesday, followed by a tough road test — and perhaps potential Western Conference Finals matchup — against the Nuggets on Wednesday. 

They then end the season at home with games against the Hawks on Friday and finish the regular season against the Suns on Sunday. The Wolves have clinched a top-four seed in the West and won’t play their first playoff game until April 20 or 21.

This is huge news for the Timberwolves, who currently sit atop the Western Conference standings. Prior to the meniscus injury, Towns was experiencing one of his best seasons, averaging 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. His production on offense was a significant reason why Minnesota was experiencing so much success this season. The frontcourt with Towns and Rudy Gobert also finally started to click after there were some clear growing pains last season.

After The Wolves’ win against the Lakers Sunday night, Anthony Edwards hinted that Towns returning would be on the horizon.

“KAT coming back,” Edwards said. “KAT will be back.”

There wasn’t a significant amount of drop off for the Wolves in Towns’ absence, as the team went 11-5 without him, but that says more about their depth than the impact the versatile forward makes. Naz Reid, who is a contender for Sixth Man of the Year, stepped up in a major way, and averaged 18.2 points in 12 starts with Towns sidelined. Getting Towns back would allow for Reid to move back to his bench role, where he’s excelled this season, and insert Towns back into the starting lineup where the Wolves have scored 5.9 more points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor.

With the Timberwolves possibly close to full strength when the playoffs start, they should be considered a dangerous threat in the West. They were expected to take a leap this season, but no one could’ve expected they would be in the race to land the No. 1 seed. And now, with Towns back, they could make a deep run in the playoffs.

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