Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said Friday he tested positive for COVID-19.
The diagnosis is particularly difficult for cities whose mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died on April 13 at the age of 59 from complications from COVID-19. She had been dealing with the virus for a month.
Cities said ahead of the season that six other family members have also died from the virus.
“Before today’s game, I received another terrible phone call that tested positive for COVID,” Towns said in one Statement shared on social media. “I will immediately isolate and follow any protocol. I pray every day that this virus nightmare will subside, and I ask everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all necessary precautions. …
“It breaks my heart that my family, and especially my father and sister, continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes with this diagnosis, as we know all too well what the end result could be. My niece and nephew … I promise you I won’t end up in a box next to Grandma and I’ll hit that. “
Minnesota previously announced that its Friday night game against the Memphis Grizzlies has been postponed due to contact tracing within the Timberwolves organization.
Gersson Rosas, the president of the team’s basketball operations, said during a news conference Friday that the organization had two positive tests – including cities – in the past two days and that a player was on the league’s contact tracing logs.
Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez were listed in Thursday’s injury report for health and safety logs.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Rosas said of Towns’ diagnosis. “It’s a lesson for all of us. Basketball is a microcosm of society right now and you can do the right things – our protocol was strong. Our staff did an incredible job of making sure we test, mask, and follow protocol. But this one Virus is powerful and creative.
“… Karl is the most important part of this organization,” added Rosas. “What he’s been through, what Karl Sr. has been through – it couldn’t be more heartbreaking.”
Towns, 25, has missed six games this season with a wrist injury but returned to the field last week. He averaged 22 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in four games.
Malika Andrews from ESPN contributed to this report.