MINNEAPOLIS Dressed in street clothes on the Timberwolves' bench, Nikola Pekovic must be in pain. There's the sharp hurt of the bone spurs in his right ankle, but there's also a duller ache, the pain that comes with sitting and watching, being unable to stop his team from losing.
Pekovic never fell. He was never powerless to get up off the court, and the drama of his injury is far less than Ricky Rubio's ACL tear. Rubio's pain was searing and instant, Pekovic's nagging and vague. The same goes for J.J. Barea and Michael Beasley, who are missing time with a thigh contusion and a sprained big toe, respectively. They're at the Target Center, sometimes practicing, sometimes shooting, but never quite ready.
And right now, that might be worse.
At least Rubio knows what he's facing. He's out for the rest of the season after having surgery on his left knee on March 21. There will be rehab, months of it, and no doubt more pain, but the worst is most likely over, and his path to recovery...