Will Towns and Edwards return to Timberwolves’ lineup Wednesday? Depends on who you ask
Towns hasn’t played since suffering a calf strain Nov. 29. Edwards has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain suffered Friday.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Timberwolves fans received a shot in the arm Tuesday, when prominent national reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that there was “optimism” that both Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns would return to action when Minnesota took the home floor Wednesday against Atlanta.
Towns hasn’t played since suffering a calf strain Nov. 29. Edwards has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain suffered Friday in Chicago.
But Towns has been ramping up his activity of late and Edwards’ injury was not as serious as initially feared, so a Wednesday return, while surprising, also seemed plausible.
But Timberwolves coach Chris Finch poured a little cold water on the idea during his radio interview Tuesday with WCCO host Chad Hartman. Hartman directly asked Finch if he expected both Towns and Edwards to play against the Hawks.
“I do not,” Finch said. “They’re both in evaluation periods and they’re definitely on separate timelines. Whether those timelines end up coming together at the same point, I’m not sure. They’re very different.”
Both players were listed as questionable for Wednesday’s contest on the injury report released Tuesday afternoon by the team. The “questionable” tag is an upgrade for Towns, who’s been listed as “out” previously during his absence.
Finch did say Edwards is feeling better every day, “which is a good sign.”
“And we know KAT is close,” he added. “He’s going through his workout progressions as normal.”
Finch said Towns’ situation is evaluated nearly twice a day.
“How is it feeling? What’s it looking like? Do we need more time? What’s the return to play look like? How does that fit with what we’re trying to accomplish?” Finch said. “That is of course an optimism we’re all hoping for, and we’re pretty confident at some point before the end of the season we’re going to see them out there. But I can’t tell you that’s tomorrow.”
Those comments suggest Minnesota will consider not just when Towns can physically go out and play , but also how his return will affect the team in its effort to improve playoff positioning. Towns has to be in a state where he can be productive and play at a high level if he’s to get minutes.
Finch couldn’t say which of the two stars was closer to returning. Much of that, he said, depended on what happened Tuesday.
“Anthony has been in an aggressive treatment program. He’s not really been in a workout program,” Finch said. “KAT is deep in a workout program and is getting treatment alongside that. So their modalities are kind of opposite right now.”
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