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Rubio, Pekovic, Young all out as Wolves finally return home

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Coach Flip Saunders knew it would be a challenge leading a young Minnesota Timberwolves squad, but without some of his biggest stars, even Saunders may be getting more than he bargained for.

The Wolves are still without point guard Ricky Rubio, who's out with a severe ankle sprain. He doesn't appear to be anywhere near a return to the lineup.

The Wolves are 0-and-5 since Rubio went down with the injury Nov. 8 against the Orlando Magic.

But Rubio's absence isn't the only one the Wolves are dealing with.

According to the Pioneer Press, center Nikola Pekovic will be out because of a sprained wrist that he suffered against Dallas. He will also have the injury re-evaluated next week.

Thaddeus Young is also away from the team while grieving the death of his mother. The Pioneer Press reports that Young is expected to remain in Memphis through Sunday as his mom will be laid to rest on Friday.

"We'll be a little under-manned," Saunders told reporters on Tuesday. "But we'll be ready to go, we had a really good practice and nobody got hurt."

Saunders said the injuries will lead to opportunities for some of the younger players.

"It's a good chance to evaluate," said Saunders. "It's not the ideal situation for sure, but that's part of what this league is about, and from a coaching perspective you have to be motivated and ready to go."

Gorgui Dieng and Anthony Bennett are expected to start at center and power forward for the Wolves this week.

The Wolves finally return home on Wednesday to face the New York Knicks.

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