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In Street Clothes

Covering sports injuries from the perspective of a certified athletic trainer and backed by analytics.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Summary

After a 13 year absence the Timberwolves returned to the postseason last year, behind their young star Karl-Anthony Towns and perennial All-Star Jimmy Butler. The success also coincided with an impressive year from the Minnesota medical staff. After several rough seasons, head athletic trainer Gregg Farnham and his medical team limited injuries and successfully managed recovery. Their hard work resulted in the Timberwolves finishing in the top ten for fewest games, salary dollars, and minutes per game lost to injury or illness.

Five Timberwolves players appeared in all 82 games and three players, Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Taj Gibson finished the year in the top 15 for total minutes played. This consistency helped guide the turnaround and an impressive showing in the Western Conference. The team was slotted just behind the Rockets and Warriors in the standings before Butler suffered a torn meniscus in his knee. The team struggled in his 23 games out and were forced to fend off the Nuggets in the final game of the season to secure their playoff berth.

Now the medical team will look to maintain the physical health of the team while the front office sorts out Butler’s status. Fortunately that appears to be going well with the majority of the team healthy and available. Justin Patton remains the lone exception as he continues to work his way back from his third foot fracture in the last year.