The banged up Minnesota Timberwolves could soon get a couple of injured starters back.
According to FOX Sports North, both shooting guard Kevin Martin and center Nikola Pekovic are close to returning. Martin has missed 21 consecutive games with a broken wrist and Pekovic hasn't played since Nov. 15 because of hand and ankle injuries. Martin could return with two weeks, the report says.
Martin, the Wolves' leading scorer at 20.4 points per game, underwent surgery on his shooting wrist Nov. 25 and expected to be out longer than Pekovic and Ricky Rubio, whose been limited to five games this season because of a severely sprained ankle, but his health is quickly improving and he could be the first to get back on the court.
"At first, I thought I was going to be the last one back," Martin said Thursday. "But I woke up yesterday and we did some intense treatment on it, then came in here and did a lot of shooting. I just now did more shooting and it actually feels good."
Martin will decide if a trip to the NBA Developmental League is necessary before he rejoins the Wolves.
Pekovic, according to the Pioneer Press, will have an MRI on his foot next week to determine the next steps before returning.
"He seems to be making some progress," Saunders said. "We can get something done next week and the MRI looks pretty clean or there is nothing at all, then we'll probably start doing some more stuff on the floor and maybe some light contact."
Rubio said last week that he's not ready to put a definitive date on the calendar for his return. He's been practicing, but he still has trouble stopping and make quick changes of direction.
Minnesota looks to snap its ten-game losing streak Saturday when they host the Utah Jazz.