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.

Posts about Wolves injury report

Durant out tonight for OKC vs. Wolves

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: January 26, 2015 - 6:49 PM

All the injury news is not bad for the Wolves.

Yes, they lost another player on Sunday night when Robbie Hummel broke his shooting hand, but they learned before tonight's back-to-backer at Oklahoma City that Thunder superstar Kevin Durant won't play because of a big toe he sprained on his left foot yesterday in Cleveland.

Of course, that still leaves Russell Westbrook and the others.

Hummel's injury means Chase Budinger will play more and probably means Glenn Robinson III will get some playing time as well.

Flip Saunders is staying with the same big lineup he used last night in Atlanta. That means Gorgui Dieng at power forward beside Nikola Pekovic at center, with Thad Young moved over to small forward while Andrew Wiggins and Mo Williams start in the backcourt.

Kevin Martin returned to shooting and apparently shot the lights out with his limit of 100 shots. He said he is targeting his return Wednesday at Target Center if he gets another good workout in tomorrow.

K-Martin update: Swelling delays return until at least Sunday

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: January 23, 2015 - 2:51 PM

Some more on Kevin Martin's condition, according to someone close to him:

His right shooting wrist swelled up on him Tuesday and Wednesday and he had fluid drained from it on Thursday, a setback that has delayed his return from November surgery at least from Wednesday's loss against Dallas until Sunday in Atlanta at the earliest.

He noticed the wrist was not feeling right while shooting on Monday and it continued to bother him on Tuesday and swelled noticeably by Wednesday morning.

The cause of the swelling is unknown. He wore a brace on it at shootaround Friday morning and remarked to a reporter all dressed up for the night's game already, "You're more ready than I am."

He remains hopeful that Thursday's draining will resolve the issue and he'll be able to play on Sunday.

He had been targeted Wednesday as his return night until the complications arose.

Pekovic feels "better," Martin out vs. Pelicans tonight

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: January 23, 2015 - 1:19 PM

Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic declared himself feeling good after Wednesday's return to action, but Kevin Martin won't play tonight against New Orleans at Target Center.

Martin (wrist surgery) joins Ricky Rubio (sprained ankle) and Shabazz Muhammad (outer oblique strain) on the list of players ruled out for tonight's game.

Pekovic will be back on the floor after playing nearly 23 minutes in his return Wednesday. He had missed 31 consecutive games until he went 5-for-11 from the floor and had four rebounds and 14 points against Dallas.

Pekovic said he still has some pain in that troublesome ankle, but didn't sound concerned about it. He said he was surprised his conditioning was as good as it was in Wednesday's game.

"I feel better," he said. "If it's going to be like this and if I feel like this, it's going to be good. It's only one game but still today, I feel better. My foot doesn't feel sore. I still got some pain, but it's basically nothing worse than days before."

Martin wore a brace on that shooting wrist at today's shootaround and declared himself not yet ready to play. He had hoped to play sometime on a four-game trip that ended Monday in Charlotte, but hasn't advanced yet through a process he says is all about learning how to play with pain, soreness and pins inserted into the wrist with which he shoots.

His right shooting wrist swelled up on him Tuesday and Wednesday and he had fluid drained from it on Thursday, a setback that has delayed his return from November surgery at least from Wednesday's loss against Dallas until Sunday in Atlanta at the earliest.

He noticed the wrist was not feeling right while shooting on Monday and it continued to bother him on Tuesday and swelled noticeably by Wednesday morning.

* Rookie Andrew Wiggins was one of the players who toured the team's new under-construction practice facility next door to Target Center.

"It looked great," Wiggins said. "They have a great vision for it. It's laid out great. I'm excited for it."

* Zach LaVine wasn't looking too chipper today after shootaround. He went home to sleep yesterday and missed the practice-facility tour. "I'm sick," he told reporters gathered around him after shootaround. "I don't know if y'all want to be this close to me."

He said he was headed home for more sleep so he'll feel a bit better. He's expected to play.

* Pelicans star Anthony Davis, on his way to league MVP status someday, was voted an All- Star starter for the first time, in results announced Thursday evening.

He was voted a reserve last season.

"I'm just excited to be in that game, whether a reserve, starter, being voted in the game," Davis said after Pelicans' shootaround. "Playing on Sunday has always been a dream of mine....It's definitely a blessing. It don't matter if you're a starter or you're a reserve, as long as you get the opportunity to play on Sunday with so many incredible guys, the best players on the planet."

* Tonight is Dante Cunningham's first game back at Target Center since he left the team as a free agent this summer. Last April, his then-girlfriend accused him of trying to choke here. A felony domestic assault charged brought then was dropped by authorities in August. The Pelicans signed Cunningham as a free agent in December.

Pekovic to return, but not Martin

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: January 21, 2015 - 6:37 PM

Greetings from Target Center, where the Wolves are about to host the Dallas Mavs.

Lots of pre-game news to get to. So:

--After missing 31 games with ankle soreness, center Nikola Pekovic will play tonight. He won’t start, instead coming off the bench. And, given his conditioning issues, his minutes will be limited. Coach Flip Saunders said 15 minutes, maybe 20. We’ll see how that goes.

The bigger question is whether the medical staff has found a way to avoid this inflammation from returning to Pek’s ankle. Both Saunders and Pek said that a new therapy has been found that should be able to keep a lid on the situation. We’ll see.

“I think we’ve finally found a real therapy,” Pek said. “Hopefully that will mean everything will go well. We have half the season left. Hopefully I’ll go through the rest of the season with no major issues.

--Kevin Martin, though, is still feeling some pain in his wrist, so he will miss his 31st game tonight. He remains close to returning, though. And it could happen Friday.

--This morning Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wondered, in his blog, why Ricky Rubio was taking so long to return from a left ankle sprain, questioning Rubio’s desire to return in light of a dearth of information about the length of his recovery.

Well, Saunders came out strong in response in his pre-game press conference, giving us just the sort of information that has been missing in the weeks since his Nov. 7 injury in Orlando.

Given the wealth of information offered, we all owe Mr. Souhan – or, as Saunders referred to him, Dr. Souhan – some thanks for bringing the whole thing up.

Here’s the scoop: Saunders said that, in addition to the high ankle sprain, there were muscles also torn, a situation that has led to Rubio’s toes giving him some problems as well. He has pain on the inside of his ankle, where there is a bone bruise. And the concern is that rushing Rubio back might result in a stress fracture.

“I want to clear the air,” Saunders said. “It has nothing to do with him not wanting to play, or not working to try to play. He’s doing everything he can. We as an organization and the doctors that are involved have been the ones who have tried to hold him back. ‘’

That’s about all for now. I’ll get back to you after the game. 

Waiting for returns, Wolves forge ahead at Denver

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: January 17, 2015 - 8:13 PM

No Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic and, yes, no Ricky Rubio tonight for Wolves at Denver.

Shabazz Muhammad is out, too, against a Nuggets team that is getting former Wolves guard Randy Foye back in the lineup tonight after 26 games out injured.

It's hard to tell with him, but Andrew WIggins apparently is feeling better. At least Flip Saunders said before tonight's game that he believes so. Wiggins played ill last night, but still scored 17 points in 36 minutes before he sat out the game's final six minutes.

Robbie Hummel started tonight's game in place of Chase Budinger.

This is the third game between the teams since the day after Christmas. The Nuggets won the first two meetings and are getting healthier and better, having won five consecutive games before losing at Dallas on Friday night.

The Wolves will stay overnight in Denver tonight and fly to Charlotte on Sunday, where they finish this odd four-game road trip with a MLK Day matinee against the Hornets.

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