Two weeks ago, the Timberwolves said they would re-evaluate Karl-Anthony Towns’ left wrist fracture that has kept him out since Feb. 10 … in two weeks.
But Friday came and the news on Towns … will wait another two weeks.
The team won’t pursue surgery as Towns’ injury continues to heal. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks and “work towards an optimal return-to-play strategy.”
Towns has played just one game with D’Angelo Russell since the team acquire him before the trade deadline. He suffered the injury Jan. 25 after a hard fall against Oklahoma City. Towns initially tried to play through the injury before the Wolves shut him down just before the All-Star break.
Coach Ryan Saunders said the “collective goal” is for Towns to play again this season.
“Obviously we all want to see that,” Saunders said. “Especially with such a shift in the roster, you’d like to see him with D’Angelo, [Malik] Beasley, Juancho [Hernangomez], James [Johnson]. You want to see different lineup combinations and continue to have these guys build an on-court chemistry. That’s something that’s important to us.”
Towns has played in 35 games. He has also missed time because of a sprained left knee and illness. Towns was at shootaround Friday but was wearing a brace he has had on the left wrist for the duration of the injury.
Saunders said Towns has been doing what he can to stay in shape and work out.
“He’s been really engaged and really active with our group,” Saunders said. ‘‘Especially having new guys around, he’s seen the importance of stepping into a leadership role and being around, doing cardio while these guys are going through practice. Things like that where he can still stay up to date on what we’re putting in.”
The change of teammates at the trading deadline seems to have done some good for Jarrett Culver. The rookie has improved his shooting since then, with Culver hitting 47% from the field and 43% from three-point range during that time entering Friday.
It has been an inconsistent rookie season for Culver, but one that has trended in the right direction of late. He said he has been getting some advice from second-year player Josh Okogie on how to handle the ups and downs of his rookie season.
“I’ve told him all the troubles I went through,” Okogie said. “So all the stuff he kind of builds, I kind of tell him how to get through it in the best way that worked for me, in terms of coping with the struggle.”
Added Culver: “That’s my guy. He’s helped me a lot. He’s been able before games, he’ll give me a little tip or advice. The same mistakes he made or something he did good last year he’ll just share that with me.”
Saunders mentioned that sometimes he will get texts from Russell at midnight, offering advice on things he is seeing while watching games on NBA’s League Pass. When asked if he has had to tell Russell to go to sleep some of those times, Saunders said: “You’d rather have that than guys being out or guys playing video games. I love that he just wants to watch hoops.”