LOS ANGELES – Even though Karl-Anthony Towns re-entered Saturday's win over Utah after falling hard on his left wrist in the fourth quarter, there was still cause for concern when Towns said after the game it was "pretty sore."
It turns out that concern was a harbinger of bad news for the Timberwolves.
Towns suffered a left perilunate subluxation, or a dislocation, in his left wrist, the team said in a release, and will be evaluated "weekly." A source added Towns would be considered "week to week," but the team said he won't require surgery.
"That's the name of the game this year is be adaptable in situations and we're not going to hang our heads," coach Ryan Saunders said. "There's no time for that. Games come quickly in this league, so you can't enjoy a win like we had [Saturday] night and you can't sit and wallow in a loss. You've got to keep moving forward, whoever is there, keep pushing forward with what you have."
Towns saw a specialist while the Wolves were in Los Angeles and the team is hopeful the injury won't cost Towns too much time.
"There's no definitive timetable," Saunders said.
Towns missed the final 12 games of last season because of a fractured left wrist. This isn't a similar injury, and Saunders said that, at least, was welcome news.
Naz Reid got the start Sunday in Towns' absence, but Saunders could tinker with the rotations in games to come, and it could mean minutes for players who are out of the rotation now, such as veteran Ed Davis.
"Guys are in positions to have opportunities to step up not only … by providing an offensive punch but also on the defensive end," Saunders said. "He's been going good for us, so we need other guys to fill those roles. Replacing Karl-Anthony Towns with one individual — it's a team effort."
Reid started 11 of the games Towns was out last season and averaged 11.7 points and 6.5 rebounds over that time. He has served as Towns' backup in the first two games this season — and came in during crunch time for Towns on Saturday against Utah — and was averaging eight points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.
"I feel as though I'm really equipped for this spot tonight, and just capitalize on it and get better," Reid said.
Saunders said the burden of replacing Towns in the lineup would not fall on Reid alone.
"We got a lot of guys who are coming together and we have an unbelievably connected locker room right now," Saunders said.
After Saturday's game Towns indicated he was still in pain even though he checked back in with under a minute to play. Towns said he came back in primarily to serve as a decoy and be there for his teammates.
"I couldn't catch anything," Towns said Saturday. "I was really there more just to be a distraction on the court. I just was there in case my team needed me."
The Wolves now have to figure out a path forward without him, at least for a little while.
"I'm going to just stay positive," Towns said. "It's only right I hurt my wrist in 2020."
Twice, that is.
Davis out for Lakers
At least for Sunday, the Wolves' opponent matched them in the injury department. Anthony Davis was out for the Lakers because of a right calf contusion. He was injured in the season opener against the Clippers, and it got worse in the second game, against Dallas. Davis hung 50 points on the Wolves in the teams' lone matchup last season.