LOS ANGELES – The Timberwolves’ injury nightmare just went from bad to worse.
Nikola Pekovic left Minnesota’s game against the Lakers with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter with an abdominal strain. He will not return.
Pekovic logged eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in nine minutes of play, leading the team in scoring early. With his absence, the Timberwolves will be forced to give big minutes to backup centers Greg Stiemsma and Chris Johnson, and with Andrei Kirilenko out with a calf strain, the team was already more shorthanded than usual.
No further details in terms of a prognosis were given on Pekovic. The center battled illness earlier in the week but had recovered enough to start Thursday in Los Angeles.