'I couldn't walk on it' - Timberwolves franchise player Anthony Edwards suffers ankle injury
The Minnesota Timberwolves are anxiously awaiting an injury update on star player Anthony Edwards after the former Rookie of the Year had to be carried off the court on Friday.
Edwards, who is averaging 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in his third season, had eight points in eight minutes before going down with an ankle injury early in a 139-131 double-overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The former number one draft pick is living up to the hype on the offensive end, but he has also shown terrific instincts on the other side of the ball, currently tied with Tyrese Haliburton for the fifth-most steals per game (1.6).
Minnesota had been expected to spiral after Karl-Anthony Towns went down with a long-term injury in November, but Edwards had kept them afloat, currently sitting eighth in the West at 35-36.
But while they are just one game behind the six seed, they are also only one game in front of the Utah Jazz in 11th, and any Edwards absence with just 11 games remaining could decide the franchise's playoff fate.
Speaking immediately after the loss, Edwards said he knew straight away that his night was over.
"I couldn't walk on it, so I knew it was a wrap," he said. "See how it feels tomorrow."
Head coach Chris Finch did not have an update on his status, and lamented the crushing nature of the loss after leading in the final stages of regulation.
"It's a devastating loss," he said "We've got to win that game, you know?
"Up two with 26 seconds left, with the ball. No reason to do anything, other than just make them come get us, and we just throw it out of bounds. We couldn't get a shot off in some key moments, too.
"We battled, and battled. We changed defenses all night long, we played our butt off, and we got a chance to win the game – and you've got to win that game."
When asked about how they will move forward without their two top offensive options, Finch said it can not be used as an excuse.
"Nobody cares," he said. "We've got to keep fighting. We've got a heck of a game tomorrow [away against the Toronto Raptors], and nobody cares what's happened to the Timberwolves.
"We'll figure it out, we'll lace it up tomorrow and we'll fight – I know that. We still have other players who can put the ball in the bucket.
"Obviously, you lose Ant's dynamic big-shot making – of course you lose everything he brings – but we're going to have to rely more on ball movement, body movement, pass-pass combinations, those kinds of things.
"I thought we did a really good job in that three-man game with Kyle [Anderson], Mike [Conley} and Rudy [Gobert]… we have things we can go to, we just have to sift through it and figure it out."
Wolves center Rudy Gobert shared the sentiment that the team cannot feel sorry for themselves.
"We know that no one's going to help us," he said. "We're all we got.
"So we've just got to go out there, keep putting in the work, keep enjoying it and just learn from this situation. Win a game when we're in position to win a game."