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Timberwolves announce Karl-Anthony Towns to return ‘in coming weeks’

Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 16: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves walks off the court after the game against the Washington Wizards at Target Center on February 16, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Wizards defeated the Timberwolves 114-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

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Karl-Anthony Towns last stepped on an NBA court just four days after Thanksgiving, but then suffered a strained calf that was expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks. It looked scarier than that when it happened, but Towns being back just after Christmas or maybe a few days into 2023 was the official timeline.

On March 15, the Timberwolves announced that Towns is improving and should return “in the coming weeks.” Here is the official statement:

Towns is continuing to progress in his rehabilitation program and has been participating in basketball activities. He is expected to return in the coming weeks and further updates to his playing status will be provided when available.

Minnesota has 13 games remaining in its season. In the 21 games he played before the injury, Towns averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game but was shooting 32.8% on 3-pointers. The fit was not smooth or seamless with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards, and when all three were on the court together the Timberwolves had an -11.8 net rating (via Cleaning the Glass).

Fit will be the challenge when Towns comes back — the Timberwolves have developed a rhythm and style of play while Towns was out, with trading for a more traditional point guard in Mike Conley being a part of that. Dropping Towns back in will be a disruption.

The Timberwolves also have to do it — they need to see what they have with Towns, Gobert and Edwards in the lineup and how this can work. Or if it can work. Minnesota gave up a container ship full of picks and prospects to get Gobert and they have yet to get a sense of what this team will look like with everyone getting some time on the court. The early results may not have been promising, but they need time to see if things can be smoothed out.

They may also get to test how it fits together in the playoffs.