Timberwolves veteran guard Kevin Martin’s return from November surgery has been delayed at least until Sunday’s game at Atlanta because of swelling in his right shooting wrist.
Martin targeted Wednesday’s game against Dallas for his return from Nov. 25 surgery that repaired a wrist he fractured against New York six days earlier. But after being affected by it during shooting workouts Monday and Tuesday, he awoke Wednesday to find swelling that coach Flip Saunders called “significant” pushed back his return.
Martin had fluid drained from the wrist Thursday and didn’t play Friday, along with injured teammates Ricky Rubio and Shabazz Muhammad while center Nikola Pekovic played his second game back after missing 31 games.
Martin wore a wrap/brace Friday that provided compression on the wrist.
“We thought he was close, he was feeling good and then there was a setback,” Saunders said. “A lot of times that’s what will happen in these rehab situations.”
Pekovic said Friday he still has pain in his troublesome ankle, but sounded optimistic about Wednesday’s return in which he played 22 minutes after he had missed 31 consecutive games.
“If it’s going to be like this and if I feel like this, it’s going to be good,” he said. “It’s only one game, but still today I feel better. My foot doesn’t feel sore. I still got some pain. It’s basically nothing worse than the days before.”
Pekovic scored 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in 21 minutes Friday.
Sussing out Shabazz
Forward Shabazz Muhammad will travel next week to see a specialist for another opinion on the outer oblique strain that caused him to miss his seventh consecutive game Friday. Saunders said he thinks Muhammad will play again before next month’s All-Star break.
“He’s still a ways away,” Saunders said. “He’s making progress but maybe not as quickly as I or he would like.”
Wolves second-year center Gorgui Dieng reached his 11th double-double of the season and his third in the past seven games with a 14-point, 15-rebound game.
Some of that came with Saunders experimenting by playing Pekovic at center and Dieng at power forward together.
“We’re going to have to work on integrating Pek and ‘G’ together,” Saunders said. “We’re going to have to change how we play. That’s going to be an adjustment. It’s tough because we got comfortable running our [center and power forward] plays and now we’re going to have to change it a little bit.”
• Rookie guard Zach LaVine fought through a bad cold Thursday and Friday but still had enough energy to search for chocolate-chip cookies in Target Center’s media room before the game. “I’m feeling better,” he said.
• Rookie Andrew Wiggins after getting a look at the team’s new under-construction training facility next to Target Center: “They have a great vision for it. It’s laid out great. I’m excited for it.”
• St. Cloud’s own Nate Wolters signed a second 10-day contract with the Pelicans. Wolters scored five points with two rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes.