Ronny Turiaf 'out indefinitely,' Pekovic able to do limited drill work
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Injuries are sorely depleting the Minnesota Timberwolves' options at center.
The Wolves revealed Thursday that Ronny Turiaf is "out indefinitely" with a bone bruise in his right knee.
Turiaf was going up to block a shot midway through the fourth quarter of the Wolves'104-91 victory over Indiana Wednesday when his right knee was hit in a collision near the basket.
It is a tough blow for the 6-foot-10 center and the Wolves. Turiaf has started the last 10 games in place of Nikola Pekovic, who has been sidelined since Jan. 28 with bursitis in his right ankle. Turiaf was averaging 5.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in that 10-game stretch.
Turiaf missed 31 games earlier in the season due to a fracture in his right elbow.
On the positive side, Pekovic was able to participate in limited drill work at practice Thursday, inching him one step closer to a return.
Prior to Wednesday's game, coach Rick Adelman was unsure of when to expect Pekovic's return and hinted at the possibility of it not being until after the Wolves come back from their upcoming five-game road trip.
But with Pekovic back at practice, even in a small capacity, the outlook appears to be slightly more optimistic. Adelman wouldn't say if he expected Pekovic to be available when the Wolves play Utah on Saturday, but he didn't shut out the idea.
"I don't know what the timetable will be," Adelman said. "He did some work on his own this morning and then he did some 5-on-0 and some drill work. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
"It's unfortunate at that spot (center). You're hoping that maybe Pek comes back a little quicker than they've talked about. We'll see what tomorrow brings with him."
If Pekovic and Turiaf are both unable to play at the start of the road trip, the Wolves will be forced to make noticeable alternations to their lineup.
Rookie center Gorgui Dieng would likely have a heavy load responsibility shifted his way. Adelman also said the Wolves would have Kevin Love and Dante Cunningham log minutes at the five-spot. Adelman noted that he would consider moving Luc Mbah a Moute into more of a power forward role and using rookie backup Robbie Hummel more off the bench.