Time is of the essence for the Minnesota Timberwolves. With just 10 games remaining in the regular season, they are in danger of falling out of the playoff race and missing the postseason if they do not return to winning form down the stretch.
One factor that will play a huge part in determining if the Wolves make it to the playoffs is health. They have been plagued by injuries all season long, and Karl-Anthony Towns’ extended absence has limited this group for most of the year. Staying at full health in the home stretch will be absolutely vital.
The newest major injury for the Timberwolves came at the most inopportune time imaginable. In game 71 of 82, Anthony Edwards suffered a sprained right ankle in Minnesota’s Friday night contest in Chicago. He went on to miss his first game of the season Saturday against the Raptors, leaving fans unsure of when exactly their franchise star will be back.
Edwards’ injury could be fatal for Minnesota’s season.
As much as Karl-Anthony Towns has been missed this season, Anthony Edwards is likely the only Wolves player that matters even more in their pursuit of the playoffs. Edwards has been the driving force behind their offense, and his third-year leap is a big part of why Minnesota has largely been able to weather an injury-riddled season.
There is currently no official timetable on Ant’s return, but a long-term or potential season-ending injury would likely douse the Timberwolves’ playoff hopes entirely. There are already several teams gaining fast on them in the standings, and Edwards being out for good would probably be the nail in the coffin.
There is reason to believe Edwards could return soon.
There was not a lot of optimism for Edwards’ injury when he was laying on the floor and yelling while grasping his ankle. But there have been some encouraging signs since then. With the game still ongoing, Timberwolves PR announced that Anthony Edwards was questionable to return. The fact that there was even a possibility of him re-entering the game seemed rather incredible.
While surprising, this update was consistent with Edwards’ reputation as an iron man. He was one of the only players in the league to play every single game this season leading up to Saturday. After hearing he was not completely ruled out against the Bulls, Timberwolves fans wondered if Edwards might keep his streak going.
After being listed as out for Saturday’s contest in Toronto, Edwards was seen in a walking boot at the game. Not even a day later, Shams tweeted that Ant was already out of his boot and would be re-evaluated on a daily basis for a return. This certainly makes it seem as though Edwards’ sprain may not have been as bad as it initially appeared, a fantastic sign for the Wolves.
With that in mind, would anyone be surprised if we saw Anthony Edwards back on the floor on Monday night at Madison Square Garden? It is a nice thought, but realistically, he will likely miss another game or two as an added precaution.