Could reinforcements be coming soon?
Before Wednesday’s game with Phoenix at Target Center, Wolves coach Flip Saunders said both guard Kevin Martin and center Nikola Pekovic took part in contract drills Wednesday morning and could be a “couple weeks” away from a return to action.
Unfortunately for the Wolves, Ricky Rubio’s sprained left ankle is not coming around as quickly.
“Today we had two guys actually do contact this morning,” Saunders said of Pekovic and Martin. “And they did pretty well. So they are making a little bit of progress.”
Martin has been out since fracturing his right wrist Nov. 19 vs. New York; he had surgery Nov. 25 and he missed his 24th game Wednesday. Pekovic, bothered by both wrist and ankle issues, missed his 25th game. Saunders said Pekovic had an MRI on his ankle this week and it came out looking better than the last one. “He was cleared to ramp it up to the next level,” Saunders said.
But don’t expect either to rush back onto the court.
“They have to have a feel for that,” Saunders said. “Pek will say, ‘Hey, I think I’m ready to go.’ Kevin will say, ‘I’m ready.’ They have to get their wind back. They have to get their whole body back; all Kevin’s been doing is shooting. There are a lot of things there. You’d hope to try to get ’em back within a couple weeks. It wouldn’t surprise me.”
As for Rubio, he sustained his injury Nov. 7 at Orlando and he missed his 29th game Wednesday.
“We’re being cautious,” Saunders said. “He still has some soreness in there when he runs. We want to make sure where that’s at.”
Backup forward Jeff Adrien was waived by the Wolves, but Saunders wouldn’t rule out his return. Any player on a roster as of Saturday would have their contract guaranteed for the rest of the season, and the Wolves weren’t ready to do that.
“There are too many things up in the air with where we’re at,” Saunders said. “It has nothing to do with how he played because I thought while he was here he gave a great effort. He did a lot of good things for us. I liked his attitude. We’ll wait and see if he clears waivers and see what happens.”
The possibility remains the team could use that 15th spot to get bigger by signing former Milwaukee center Miroslav Raduljica, who recently parted ways with a team in China.
“There are people we’re looking at,” Saunders said. “We’ll see how it filters down. As you know, a lot has happened here the last 24, 48 hours in the league.”
Visiting the Barn
Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad and Wolves assistant coach Ryan Saunders were all at the Gophers-Ohio State game at Williams Arena on Tuesday night. Saunders, like his father, played for the Gophers. It was the first time Wiggins, LaVine and Muhammad had been there.
Impressions? “That is a crazy court,” LaVine said, referring to the Barn’s raised court.
• The Wolves will host an in-game silent auction featuring the pink shoelaces they wore on Nov. 26 in memory of Thad Young’s mother, who succumbed to breast cancer. The auction will be held outside Section 138 during Saturday’s game with San Antonio, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
• Wolves guard Mo Williams sprained his right ankle late in Wednesday’s loss and was limping in the locker room after the game.