Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Help needed: Gelabale arrives, 2 more Wolves go down in 90-77 loss

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: January 18, 2013 - 2:43 AM

The Wolves lost two more players yet again to injury in Thursday's 90-77, but this time they're getting a new, healthy body back at least when European swingman Mickael Gelabale signs on Friday.

Nikola Pekovic left the game in the third quarter with a bruised thigh and did not return.

Alexey Shved walked off the floor and straight to the locker room in the game's final five minutes after spraining his ankle.

It wasn't immediately known how serious either injury was other than...

Pekovic didn't appear back at his locker while reporters remained in the locker room after the game. Usually you see him, but Thursday night there was no sign of big Pek and I got the feeling his injury probably is worse than Shved's and could keep him out in the short term.

We'll know more after Friday's practice.

As for Shved, he was limping noticeably in the locker room afterward and you knew it wasn't good when 85-year-old radio reporter Gene Harrington offered Shved the use of his cane to get to and from the showers.

The rookie declined the generous offer.

While Shved hobbled back and forth, Ricky Rubio sat at his locker after making his first start of the season and talked passionately about the predicament the Wolves are with injury after injury after injury, and with the losses now mounting at five in a row.

There should be post-game video up on our main Wolves page here by morning of Rubio's entire conversation with reporters. It's pretty good stuff, just Ricky being real.

A jersey with the name "Gelabale" and the No. 15 hung in a locker next to Rubio's after the game until someone from the Wolves covered it by hanging a suit bag in front of it.

The 29-year-old small forward who played two seasons with Seattle from 2006 to 2008 was in town Thursday, hung out some with French national team teammate Ronny Turiaf and will officially be signed Friday by the Wolves now that Lazar Hayward's 10-day contract expired after Thursday's game.

My buddy Kent Youngblood went down to the Clippers locker room after the game and talked to Turiaf, the Clippers center, about the newest Wolf with whom he played at the London Olympics last summer.

"You're going to like him," Turiaf said.

Here's most of what Turiaf had to say:

"He's somebody who can slash ot the basket, who can shoot threes very well. And he will do all the intangibles. People are always trying to put other people in boxes. He is a basketball player. He can score. He's goign to do whatever he has to do to help the team win. Yes, he can play defense. But he's not just a defender."

Turiaf mentioned that Gelabale and Nicolas Batum, whom the Wolves pursued aggressively last summer, were the two French players who always defended the opposing team's best player.

"He is a good defender," Turiaf said. "A lock-down defender."

And just as importantly, he can shoot threes on a team that is struggling mightily to do so this season.

"He's very efficient and he has a nice little pull-up jumper. He can play in the paint very well. He has a nice little fade-away jumper. He plays both ways. He's a complete player.

"He has been looking for an opportunity to come back to the NBA, so I think he's very, very excited. And I think he deserves to be in this league because he's somebody that has a lot of talent and a lot to offer to a basketball squad. And the way you guys play here, with the Rick Adelman system, with the high post and the cut, with the team basketball?

"That's something that really will make his skill come out a lot."

 


 

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