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Updated: March 16th, 2014 6:28pm
Nikola Pekovic out again after suffering setback with ailing ankle

Nikola Pekovic out again after suffering setback with ailing ankle

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Nikola Pekovic's bout with bursitis in his right ankle has hit another setback.

The Minnesota Timberwolves' 6-foot-11, 285-pound center was ruled out for Sunday's game against Sacramento Kings after the lingering pain in his ankle became too much to handle Friday at Charlotte.

"He doesn't really know (what happened)," coach Rick Adelman said. "There was a play in the other game where he went to go off it and he felt something, had a lot of pain. Three possessions into the second half it was obvious he couldn't move."

Pekovic was sidelined for nearly a month, 13 games, before he returned on March 1, with his playing time being closely monitored. In the seven games he was back, he battled reoccurring soreness in his ankle, but it wasn't until Friday that his movement became restricted enough to force him back to the bench.

Pekovic's status going forward is uncertain. Adelman said he didn't know how long to expect his starting center to be out.

Without Pekovic, the Wolves will be hurting to find a way to combat a significant size disadvantage in their lineup, especially with backup center Ronny Turiaf (knee) also nursing an injury,

It also means an elevated role for rookie Gorgui Dieng, who has had struggles adapting the NBA in his first season. Although the Kings' imposing center DeMarcus Cousins sat out Sunday with right knee tendonitis, Adelman still gave Dieng his first career start in place of Pekovic.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
In this story: Nikola Pekovic, Ronny Turiaf
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