Back 'feeling much better,' Ridnour aims to play

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Timberwolves starting point guard Luke Ridnour stayed at work long after Sunday's practice, even though he only mostly shot during it and afterward declared himself "feeling much better."

He said he intends to play the final two preseason games this week after receiving a cortisone shot to treat a herniated disc in his back Friday.

More than 280 people nationwide have contracted fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid injections, and 23 people have died.

Ridnour said he did his homework before getting his injection.

"I made sure," he said. "I checked it like three times, though."

Ridnour has missed three of five preseason games because of pain being caused by that herniated disc.

"I feel good about where I'm at with it, just getting it calmed down," he said. "I feel really good now, be pain free and ready to go. I feel a lot better, just making sure I'm ready to go for November."

Wolves coach Rick Adelman has started J.J. Barea at point guard for all three games Ridnour missed. Friday in Chicago he also played Will Conroy and Malcolm Lee at that position.

Padded Pek

Starting center Nikola Pekovic practice fully Sunday with a protective pad on the hand he injured Tuesday against Maccabi Bazan Haifa. He was held out of Friday's game as a precaution, just so he didn't aggravate a pulled ligament.

Adelman said he expects Pekovic to play with his hand padded Wednesday against Detroit in Winnipeg and Friday against Milwaukee in Green Bay, Wis.

"He seemed fine," Adelman said. "He still was the same guy today."

No Love

Injured Kevin Love was not at practice Sunday and will not accompany the team on its two road games this week.

Love broke his hand Wednesday morning at his condo while doing knuckle pushups as part of a normal workout routine. Personal trainer Rob McClanaghan, who works with Love on basketball skills but not strength/fitness training, was present but was not supervising Love's workout.

"I don't know the answer, I just know it wasn't very good," Adelman said when asked about players working out with their own personal trainers.

"Guys have to be smart. They have to learn the smart thing to do during the season. We'll be talking a lot more about it. I've never had that happen, where a guy got hurt during a workout."

Etc.

• Adelman said he expects to split time again at power forward between Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams on Wednesday and probably will look at Andrei Kirilenko some at that position Friday.

• Teammates sang "Happy Birthday'' -- in English, not "Feliz Cumpleanos" in Spanish -- to Ricky Rubio after practice Sunday, when he turned 22.

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