PHOENIX SUNS

Karl-Anthony Towns’ reported meniscus injury could threaten T-Wolves’ place atop standings

Mar 7, 2024, 9:37 AM

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns...

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) tries to push past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

(AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns is out indefinitely with torn meniscus injury to his knee, according to multiple reports, threatening the T-Wolves’ status as top team in the Western Conference standings.

The Athletic and ESPN reported on Thursday that Towns has a torn meniscus and was mulling options for treatment. The Timberwolves declined to confirm the reports.

The ninth-year forward has helped the Western Conference-leading Timberwolves thrive this season, averaging 22.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 42.3% from 3-point range. Towns has missed only one previous game to injury this season, for left knee soreness on Dec. 23.

He showed no obvious signs of trouble in Minnesota’s most recent game on Monday against Portland, but he played only 21 minutes, his second-lowest total of the season.

The absence of Towns will put more scoring burden on All-Star Anthony Edwards and also elevate the role off the bench of Naz Reid, who is the primary backup to Towns and center Rudy Gobert.

After games on Wednesday night, the Timberwolves (43-19) are tied atop the Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder and have 20 games left this season.

The Denver Nuggets are a full game behind those two teams in the standings, with the Los Angeles Clippers 2.5 back.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

NBA Western Conference playoff standings after Karl-Anthony Towns’ injury

Team Record Games behind
1. Minnesota Timberwolves 43-19
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 43-19
3. Denver Nuggets 42-20 1.0
4. Los Angeles Clippers 40-21 2.5
5. New Orleans Pelicans 37-25 6.0
6. Phoenix Suns 36-26 7.0
7. Sacramento Kings 35-26 7.5
8. Dallas Mavericks 34-28 9.0
9. Golden State Warriors 33-28 9.5
10. Los Angeles Lakers 34-30 10.0

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