Karl-Anthony Towns' return to the Timberwolves lineup is near, and it could come Thursday against Portland. 

Coach Ryan Saunders said the Wolves will evaluate how Towns looks during warmups before deciding whether he will play against Portland at Target Center. 

"He's been doing more and more," Saunders said at shootaround. 

Towns has missed the previous 11 games because of a left knee sprain, the longest absence of his career. In that stretch, the Wolves have gone 4-7, but have logged the best defensive efficiency in the league with Towns out. 

The Wolves have been careful with Towns' return after he injured it in a hard fall against the Clippers on Dec. 13, and he has gradually added to his rehabilitation work as his knee heals. 

But even if Towns doesn't play Thursday, it seems as if he will be back soon. 
 

 

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