You don’t want them to turn into anything more

Nikola Pekovic

Timberwolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell said center Nikola Pekovic’s numbers show he still has to work himself into shape.

## ## After missing 35 games due to right Achillies surgery to start the season, Pekovic has played five of the last six games within an 18 minute restriction per game.

“How many games has he played? Do I really need to answer that,” Mitchell said to the media before Sunday’s matinee versus the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. “I mean you guys give me a hard time because you say I’m kind of prickly, but Pek has not played in a year. After (five) games and we don’t get to practice because we play every other day, you’ve ask me has Pek scraped off the rust? He is limited to 18 minutes a game, and I’m the person that’s prickly. Did that answer your question? directly.

“I don’t think in 18 minutes in four games he’s going to scrape it off,” Mitchell said.

Aftermaking his season debutJan. 6, Pekovic rested his troublesome ankle Jan. 12 vs. Oklahoma City and played the next night at Houston. He has averaged 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 48 percent shooting across one start and five total games.

Guard Kevin Martin was expected to play the Suns on Sunday, Mitchell said. Martin was ill and missed Friday game at Oklahoma City.

Flip Saunders, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, oblique strain, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves

Comments Off on Muhammad to miss at least two weeks with oblique strain

As the Timberwolves’ trio of injured starters continues to have positive steps in rehabilitation, another key player is now hurt and will miss multiple games.

Forward Shabazz Muhammad has an external oblique strain and is will be reevaluated in two weeks, the team said. Muhammad, a second year scorer, had shined in extended playing time over the last few weeks.

“It could change but right now the prognosis is see where he is at (in a couple weeks),” coach Flip Saunders said. “He has an abdominal strain and those things can be very delicate. You don’t want them to turn into anything more serious.”

Muhammad missed the fourth quarter of Friday’s 98 84 loss to Milwaukee and all of Saturday’s 108 93 loss to San Antonio. Muhammad has averaged 13.7 points and four rebounds this season.

The positive news was center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and guard Kevin Martin (wrist) participated in all of Monday’s one hour, 45 minute practice, including full contact drills. Meanwhile, guard Ricky Rubio (ankle) also participated, but not in contact drills.

Also, center Gorgui Dieng (illness) didn’t practice. Saunders said it was a sore throat and not the flu that affected Saunders, Robbie Hummel and Chase Budinger last week.

The Timberwolves sought some relief to their hardscrabble roster as they were granted a hardship exception to sign forward Jeff Adrien, the team announced Saturday.

Using eight straight different starting lineup and because they have four injured players, the NBA allowed the Wolves (4 10) to sign a 16th player to its roster.

Adrien, 28, averaged 6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in 53 games between Milwaukee and Charlotte last season.

The fifth year, 6 foot 7 forward from Connecticut will give some front court depth with centers Nikola Pekovic and Ronny Turiaf on the mend. Both Pekovic and Turiaf will be shelved until being reevaluated next week. Saunders said Friday the goal is to have Pekovic practicing next week.

Anthony Bennett, Flip Saunders, Gorgui Dieng, NBA, Nikola Pekovic, Ronny Turiaf, Thaddeus Young, Timberwolves, Twolves Now

Comments Off on No Pekovic or Young for at least three games

The Timberwolves will play at least three games in the next week without two members of their starting front court.

Center Nikola Pekovic sprained his wrist against Dallas on Saturday and will be out until he reevaluated next week.

Power forward Thaddeus Young will remain in Memphis through about Sunday as his mother is laid to rest on Friday.

Also absent will be third string center Ronny Turiaf, who continues to be mired by hip soreness.

As Wolves coach Flip Saunders rattled through his suddenly barren cupboard, he could sense sighs and head shaking from the media members.

guys feel sorry for me or what? Saunders said.

The Wolves will likely start second year players Gorgui Dieng at center and Anthony Bennett at power forward for contests against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, San Antonio on Friday and Sacramento on Saturday.

Corey Brewer, Flip Saunders, NBA, Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Thaddeus Young, Timberwolves, Twolves Now

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