Nikola Pekovic Injury: Updates on Timberwolves Center's Wrist and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2014

Nov 8, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) warms up before a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders said center Nikola Pekovic will miss at least the next week after suffering a sprained wrist.   

Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reported the injury from Minnesota's practice on Tuesday:

Kent Youngblood @BloodStrib

Flip said Pek sprained his wrist and will be out until next week. Gorgui to start. Young expected back Sunday.

News of Pekovic's injury comes after the big man played just 12 minutes in the Timberwolves' 131-117 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday. While Youngblood and others reported Saunders did not sit Pekovic because of an injury, this would indicate otherwise. Pekovic had played at least 28 minutes in all but two appearances so far this season.

With Pekovic on the shelf, second-year center Gorgui Dieng will step into the starting lineup. Dieng was the beneficiary of Pekovic's absence Saturday, putting up 12 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. The former Louisville star averaged 12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game across 18 games (15 starts) in which he received extended playing time with Pekovic out last season.

It'll be interesting to see if history can repeat itself. If it does, the Timberwolves, who at 2-7 are already looking toward the future, may have an interesting dilemma on their hands.

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