Wolves' Nikola Pekovic out indefinitely to focus on Achilles rehab


Missing games is nothing new for Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic, but once again the Wolves' big man will be sidelined by a troublesome Achilles injury.

The Timberwolves announced Tuesday that Pekovic is out indefinitely as he continues to recover from last April's surgery on his right Achilles tendon.

It's the second major injury the Wolves have announced in the last two days – Nemanja Bjelica will also miss the upcoming road trip while recovering from a foot injury.

"Our main concern is for the health of Nikola," said Timberwolves General Manager Milt Newton in a press release Tuesday. "Our priority is getting him back on the court, playing at a consistent level for a sustained period of time. After much consulting with Nikola, our medical staff and some of the leading doctors in this field, we believe this is a necessary step in that process."

Pekovic underwent what's known as a debridement and repair of his right Achilles on April 8, 2015. He missed the majority of last season battling chronic pain in his right ankle.


The procedure was viewed as a last ditch effort to relieve that chronic pain.

Recovery from the surgery caused Pekovic to miss the first 35 games of this season. He returned in January and played in 12 games averaging 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13 minutes per game, but the big man from Montenegro has missed eight straight.

"A typical recovery from an Achilles surgery is 9-15 months," said Timberwolves Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander. "While we've made significant strides with Nikola since his surgery, we've come to the conclusion that to ensure he has the best opportunity for sustained success on the court, we need to continue to focus on his rehab and make that the priority."

According to Pro Basketball Talk, the discomfort Pekovic is feeling is not a recurrence of the problems that limited him over the past two seasons. The report notes the Achilles tendon and surgical area are in good health, but Pekovic experienced some discomfort while rehabbing.

Timberwolves.com notes there's a slight chance Pekovic could return this season.

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