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.