The Timberwolves' difficult 7-game, 13-day road trip just got tougher now that starting center Nikola Pekovic has gone home to get treatment on his hurting ankles.

He will miss the trips' final two games, tonight against the Spurs in San Antonio and Friday at Oklahoma City.

That's only the two best teams in the West.

Without him, I'd guess Darko Milicic will start, as he did Sunday in Sacramento, because of the presence of Tim Duncan, etc.

Pekovic tried to play in Monday's victory at Golden State, but barely played 11 minutes. He started both the first and third quarters, but was soon replaced by forward Derrick Williams on a night when Rick Adelman put Milicic on the inactive against the smallish Warriors.

Pekovic went to the locker room for the night after playing just the first three minutes of the second half.

Pekovic flew with the team from San Francisco to San Antonio, but returned to the Twin Cities before Wednesday's morning shootaround.

One other injury update:

Michael Beasley said at this morning's shootaround that he will keep playing on that sprained right toe even though he seems to aggravate it at least once every game.

He played 10 1/2 minutes in the first half Monday, then didn't play against and said that 40-minute halftime ceremony did him in.

He said the wait stiffened up the ankle too much to allow him to play again that night.

Tonight, the Spurs are retiring Bruce Bowen's jersey.

"They are?" Beasley asked, his eyes widening. "I hope this one is shorter."

Beasley can rest easy. I don't believe this one is a halftime ceremony, and certinaly not one with the pomp of Monday's Chris Mullin tribute.


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