His season over, with surgery looming, Wolves center Nikola Pekovic acknowledged he is concerned about his future, both on and off the basketball court.
"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.''
Pekovic has spent so much time fighting foot and ankle pain. Wednesday, in what Pekovic described as "the last thing I can try," he will undergo surgery to remove damaged tissue and repair his right Achilles' tendon.
Dr. Richard Anderson will do the surgery in Charlotte, N.C., in an attempt to finally ease the pain that as affected Pekovic for years.
Pekovic was limited to 31 games by the pain this season. He only played in 54 last season. Indeed, as far back as 2012 he had surgery to remove bone spurs from the ankle. Since then he has tried different treatments and even custom-made shoes.
Assuming the surgery goes well, it is unclear when Pekovic will be ready to return to action. Wolves coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said he didn't view the surgery as career-threatening.
"I don't think so," he said. "Our indication is this is going to be a clean-up procedure that will put him in a situation where he can play at a higher rate."
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.''