Wolves starting center Nikola Pekovic will miss his second consecutive game -- tonight at Dallas -- because his right ankle remains too sore for him to play.

He is not expected to play tomorrow either in Houston against a Rockets team that will be without All-Star Dwight Howard.

Pekovic hasn't run on that ankle since leaving Friday's game at Charlotte in the third quarter.

Rookie Gorgui Dieng will start in his absence tonight instead for the second straight game after getting his first NBA start on Sunday against Sacramento.

Howard had part of a cyst and fluid drained from his ankle on Wednesday and he told Houston Chronicle beat writer Jonathan Feigen he will not play until Saturday at the earliest.

Howard didn't play in Monday's home victory over Utah. Until then, he had been the only Rocket who played in every game this season.


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