It was a quiet, clearly dejected Nikola Pekovic who talked, briefly, with the media this morning after the Timberwolves’ shoot-around at Target Center.
His season over, with surgery looming, Pekovic acknowledged that he is concerned about his future – both on the basketball court and off.
“Of course I am,” he said. “I’m pretty much worrying about how this is going to affect my life in 10 years. I mean, I’m still thinking about basketball (too). But when you deal so much with something like this….. It’s a big deal, I think.’’
It is his ankle and foot problems that Pekovic has dealt with for so long. Ultimately, in what Pekovic described as “the last thing I can try,” he will undergo surgery next week to remove damaged tissue and repair his right Achilles tendon.
This has been a protracted situation. Pekovic was limited to 31 games by the pain this season. He only played in 54 last season. Indeed, as far back as 2012 Pekovic had surgery to remove bone spurs from the ankle.
The latest surgery – to be performed by Dr. Richard Anderson in Charlotte N.C. next Wednesday – is the most recent attempt to ease that pain. Pekovic has already tried different treatment approaches and custom-made orthotics.
It is unclear when Pekovic will be able to return to playing, assuming the surgery goes well.
“I’m going to try everything I can try to make my foot feel better,” he said.
That said, the ordeal has clearly taken its toll on Pekovic.
“It’s really tough,” he said. “It’s really tough, when you try to do everything, for like a year, and nothing helps you and you get to the point where you have to sit. But you have to deal with it, that’s all.’’
Meanwhile, Kevin Martin, who has missed the last six games because of a strained left hamstring, is set to return to action tonight.