Nikola Pekovic out of walking boot, but still no timetable for return
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Nikola Pekovic is free of the walking boot that had been covering his sore right ankle for the last week, but there is still no timetable of when to expect the Minnesota Timberwolves' starting center back.
After being diagnosed on Jan. 28 with bursitis, Pekovic was ruled out "indefinitely."
Even with Pekovic out of the walking boot, coach Rick Adelman said after practice Monday he has "no idea" when to expect the 6-foot-11, 285-pound big man in the lineup. Adelman previously said team doctors were waiting until the boot was removed before reevaluating him.
"It's just waiting for them to tell me what's gonna happen," Adelman said. "I don't anticipate any timeline at all."
The ambiguity surrounding Pekovic's return makes it highly questionable that he will be back for the All-Star break next week. The Wolves (23-24) have six games remaining before a weeklong layoff.
Pekovic's absence shouldn't be pegged as the sole cause, but the Wolves are 1-2 in the three games in which he has sat out.
Kevin Love has done what he can to pick up the slack. He has posted at least 28 points and 14 rebounds with Pekovic inactive, including a 43-19 outing at Atlanta. But it hasn't been enough as the Wolves continue to struggle to close out games.
"It's a lot of rebounds out there, a lot of shots that he would take," Love said of Pekovic, who was averaging 18 points and 9.1 rebounds when he went out. "I have to kind take the onus on now. I try to pick it up as much as I can, but it's tough without my boy out there."