After missing the beginning of the Minnesota Timberwolves training camp due to a severe throat infection, 6’11” Karl-Anthony Towns is finally back in the Mayo Clinic Square in Minneapolis, he announced Monday.
“There was [sic] more drastic things to worry about than basketball at that moment. I wasn’t too worried about basketball for a while. But I miss the game, I love the game. I miss these guys. Sick and tired of recovering at the house and not being able to leave and do anything,” KAT said in an interview.
In an Instagram story, Towns’ partner Jordyn Woods revealed that the Timberwolves star was indeed hospitalized due to an undisclosed illness. “On FaceTime yesterday… happy he’s finally feeling better… I had to take him to the hospital when we got to Minnesota right after my birthday.. what a week… excited to see what you do this season @karltowns.”
The throat infection suffered by the big man caused him difficulties with breathing, leaving him on bed rest for days. According to Towns, he was only cleared by his doctors to walk on Saturday, when he attended a Timberwolves team event.
With such a turn of events, can Towns still deliver for the team in the upcoming NBA 2022-23 season and help to increase Minnesota Timberwolves’ odds 2022?
What Is He Going Through?
Although some have concluded that it was just a severe throat infection that hospitalized KAT for an unknown number of days, he himself hasn’t provided many details yet on the nature of the illness that sidelined him for quite some time.
“Keep it private. We don’t have to put people through that again. It was a tough time for all of us. I’m just happy to be back playing basketball,” the Minnesota star said in an interview.
His decision to not give many details of his illness was due to him “keeping his family in mind.” Towns have gone through a lot in recent years, for sure. The Dominican-American Timberwolves mainstay has lost seven of his family members, including his mother, to COVID-19. He was also one of the players who tested positive for the virus in 2021. Rest assured, this illness he is battling is a non-COVID-19 one.
“We live in a world where everyone wants you to share everything you do. Some things I want to keep close to me and my family. We don’t have to share everything.”
Karl is also the ambassador of an app that promotes easy access to COVID-19 care.
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 30, 2022
On Weight Loss
The 2015 NBA Draft 1st overall pick revealed on Monday that aside from struggles with breathing and being forced to be on bed rest for a couple of days, the non-COVID-19 severe throat infection also had him lose a significant amount of weight, dropping from a listed 248-pound weight to just 231-pounds, losing nearly 17-pounds. Was this a part of his plan?
After the Timberwolves’ acquisition of 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, Towns was redirected to being the four or power forward of the team, leaving the responsibility of rim protection to the former. Towns then will have to shift his focus from much shorter, yet quicker opponents, something different from what he had to deal with when he was the team’s center. Hence, the 6’11”-then center had to lose a couple of pounds.
However, his undisclosed ailment could have cost him a couple of pounds more than what was required of him. Clips of him in a recent Timberwolves practice showed how slim he currently is. Nevertheless, Towns assured that he feels better and will see if he will do well in his current weight before deciding to gain more or not.
“Right now it looks good. Obviously, I’m going to take my time and do whatever the docs recommend [sic] and let my body catch up and get to that feeling.”
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) October 4, 2022
What’s In Store For Towns And The Timberwolves
With the 2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year still recovering from his illness, the Minnesota Timberwolves played their preseason game against the Miami Heat without Towns, winning 121-111. The Timberwolves also missed the services of newly-acquired rim protector Rudy Gobert to give him a little breather after a tough Eurobasket campaign this summer. There is no confirmation yet on whether the two will suit up for the team in their upcoming preseason games.
The training camp could have helped for the gelling of the team, especially for its two big men in Towns and Gobert; however, things happened. The Timberwolves then will have to make the most out of what is left before opening their 2022-2023 NBA campaign, especially after a busy and expensive offseason trading.
With Towns and Gobert providing 24.6 points per game with 9.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists, and 15.6 points per game along with 14.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists respectively, the two are expected to be the main guns of the Timberwolves in the upcoming season.
“I expect a lot of winning, for sure. I want to win. I’m not up here just blowing smoke. I really want to try to bring a championship right here to Minnesota. I think Rudy adds a huge component to that. He’s gonna be a massive part of us being a championship team. My job is to help him as much as he’s going to help me. His strengths are my weaknesses and his weaknesses are my strengths, so we’ll be able to play off of each other.”
Karl-Anthony Towns is leading a new generation of Latinos in the NBA 🤩 pic.twitter.com/CgewtO3wJJ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 27, 2022
With Gobert’s addition and Towns’ recovery, can the Minnesota Timberwolves finally bag their very first NBA title?
The Towns and Gobert-led Timberwolves will begin their 2022-23 NBA campaign against the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 20.
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 26, 2022
Credits on Featured Image: NBA No.1 Overall Picks – Karl-Anthony Towns (2015) and Yao Ming (2002)