Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said no decision would be made until Wednesday, but it appears there is a good chance at least one veteran will be back in the lineup when the Wolves play host to Dallas at Target Center on Wednesday night.
After taking part in another practice, center Nikola Pekovic all but declared himself ready to return after missing the past 31 games because of ankle soreness, saying it would be Saunders’ decision. Guard Kevin Martin, who has missed 30 games because of a fractured right wrist, said he would decide if he would play Wednesday after gauging how he felt after waking up.
Pekovic might need to ease back into things upon his return, but said the lingering soreness he had been feeling after games and practices was gone. “It feels better,” he said. “I mean way better. There is still some pain there, but it’s normal. It’s something that is totally acceptable for me.”
Martin, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t need to have his minutes monitored upon his return. “I’m still learning to play with it, being a little cautious because it’s a shooting hand,” he said. “But I’m getting there.”
Saunders said point guard Ricky Rubio, out the past 35 games after spraining his left ankle, did some live contact in practice Wednesday, the first time he has done that since the injury. But Saunders said Rubio is still feeling some soreness, and his return will likely come after Pekovic and Martin come back.
But all three should be back sooner rather than later, giving Saunders the job of reintegrating the veterans back into the team. “It will be an adjustment both for the guys coming back into their roles and also the guys who have been playing,” he said.