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Karl-Anthony Towns (torn meniscus) to have surgery, out at least 1 month

The All-Star was enjoying one of his healthiest seasons in years for the first-place Wolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns was an All-Star this season and is 1 of the Wolves’ top scorers.

All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns will require surgery to repair a torn left knee meniscus revealed via MRI, the Timberwolves announced Thursday. He will be re-evaluated in four weeks, putting his availability for the first round of the NBA Playoffs and potentially beyond in doubt.

Towns is averaging 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and three assists per game this season while shooting 50.6% overall and 42.3% on 3-pointers. He has helped the Wolves (44-19) to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and the second-best record in the league.

Impact of Towns’ injury: Minnesota is enjoying its best season since 2003-04, when that squad won 58 games and reached the Western Conference Finals. Towns has been instrumental in that and his health has been a large factor, too, after he only played in 29 games last season due to various injuries.

He’s played in 60 games this season and has been a scoring force for the Wolves, dropping a career-best 62 points on the Hornets in late January. Behind Towns, fellow All-Star Anthony Edwards and shot-blocking center Rudy Gobert, the Wolves have the best defensive rating in the NBA and have been strong of late, winning nine of their last 12 games.

The Wolves were without Towns in a thrilling 113-111 road win against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. Even without Towns, Minnesota managed to hold the league’s highest-scoring team nearly 13 points below its average.

Towns’ absence moved reserve forward Kyle Anderson into the starting lineup. He finished with six points, three rebounds and four assists vs. the Pacers in 27 minutes. Towns’ absence likely means standout reserve big man Naz Reid will see a bigger role as well. He remained in his bench role vs. the Pacers, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Aside from Reid, though, the Wolves are somewhat thin on the frontline and will likely put more of the scoring onus on Edwards — the team’s leading scorer at 26.1 ppg — as Towns mends.

Last season, Towns missed 52 games because of a strained calf muscle. He returned in time for the team’s playoff push but struggled in the first-round series loss to the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 18.2 ppg and shot just 45.7% overall in that series (25% on 3-pointers) and he and the Wolves have yet to get beyond the first round of the playoffs in their time together.

Minnesota coach Chris Finch believes the Timberwolves can adjust to a stint without Towns.

“It’s not a plug-in one person to fill Karl’s role kind of situation,” he said. “What I love about our team is that we have a multitude of options. We can go a lot of different ways based on matchups on any given night. We’ve started different guys through the season anyway.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.