It's a sight that has become all too familiar but is still equally jarring for Timberwolves fans anytime it happens — Karl-Anthony Towns hitting the floor hard and coming up holding his wrist, specifically his left wrist.
It happened again during the first quarter of the Wolves' 112-103 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday night at Target Center. Towns took a hard foul and fall to the floor. He got up favoring the wrist. He stayed in the game, but even then it's not always a clear sign that Towns has escaped harm.
He played on the injured wrist a bit last season before shutting it down in February. He also finished a game against the Jazz in December despite injuring his wrist — and then proceeded to miss the next six games and said he has been playing through pain ever since.
Towns was able to finish Monday's game and score 33 points on 10 of 28 shooting, but he didn't feel great.
"I was in a lot of pain, for sure, especially when I came back here for halftime," Towns said. "It caused me a lot of discomfort, to say the least."
Towns said recently his wrist wasn't any better or worse than it was at the beginning of the year. Incidents like Monday's aren't helping it get better. Though Towns said if he didn't feel like he could play, he wouldn't.
"It was pretty bad, so it slowed me down. But that's no excuse to miss bunnies and shots I should make," Towns said. "Just because I've had this injury, if I didn't feel like I was in a physical state to play, I wouldn't play. If I step on that court and put my jersey on, then I am making a promise that I'm going to do everything I can, regardless of my condition to give them the best of me that night."
Some fans on social media reacted that the Wolves should sit Towns as a precaution since the Wolves likely aren't headed anywhere the rest of the season. The problem with that is the Wolves don't know what they have when everyone is available to play.
Towns and D'Angelo Russell have only played five games together, and sitting Towns wouldn't exactly help in the evaluation of the Wolves' roster, especially if Towns can't play with Russell once Russell returns from his arthroscopic knee surgery.
Until Towns decides he can't play on the wrist anymore, the Wolves will have to put up with moments like Monday, which seem like they happen every couple of games for Towns.
"Today's incident was probably the most it hurt at any point after coming back, for sure," Towns said.