ESPN News Services
Towns said Monday that he had a 5 percent chance of surviving the accident, which occurred last Thursday.
“The accident could have went — I’d say I had a 5 percent chance of making it out alive,” Towns told reporters. “I hit the 5 percent mark. I’d say 4 percent was to be seriously injured, and 1 percent was to be minorly injured — and I came out in the 1 percent.”
The two-time All-Star said he was in the passenger seat of a Hyundai Santa Fe that had come to a complete stop in order to avoid a separate accident in front of them. The Hyundai was then hit by a semitruck that Towns estimated was traveling 35-45 mph.
“It could have been much worse,” he said. “In all honesty, I probably should not have made it out like I did.”
The Timberwolves announced earlier that Towns is no longer in the concussion protocol and will play in Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
Towns missed Minnesota’s games Friday against the Knicks and Saturday against the Bucks, ending his streak of 303 consecutive games started. It was the longest streak to start an NBA career since 1970-71.
Assistant strength and conditioning coach Kurt Joseph was driving on Thursday when he had to make a hard stop on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis to account for an accident in front of them. Towns said he recalled Joseph looking “stone-faced” while remarking that the semitruck he saw in the rearview mirror was not slowing down.
“If I don’t have that seatbelt,” Towns told reporters, “I’m going right through the windshield.”
Towns declined an ambulance ride at the scene. He acknowledged downplaying the doctor’s advice upon departure from the hospital to take it easy, immediately contacting the Timberwolves about a commercial itinerary that could get him to New York in time to play Friday against the Knicks. Towns called his sister with the news, opting to send his parents a text message to avoid exposure to their anxiety about his condition.
He exhibited some concussion-like symptoms, so per league protocol, Towns was held out of that game and again Saturday at Milwaukee.
Being present at the arena was ultimately more important to Towns than resting on his own.
“I’m not a guy to stay back to watch them work. I want to be there in person,” Towns said. “I want to high-five them coming off the court. I want to scream for them. I want to do everything I possibly can to be the best cheerleader I can possibly be.”
The Timberwolves are obviously glad that Towns is OK.
“You obviously want to make sure KAT the person is taken care of,” coach Ryan Saunders said. “That’s definitely put ahead of KAT the basketball player.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.