After missing the last two games due to a sprained right ankle, Nikola Pekovic is expected to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves starting lineup Friday night for a bout with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune.
Pekovic is averaging 12.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 25 minutes per game in his second season. He has been a major part of the Timberwolves turn-around this season, especially since he replaced Darko Milicic in the starting lineup. Jose Juan Barea, however will not play due to an ankle injury of his own. Via Zgoda:
Barea says he's much improved, but won't play tonight or tomorrow vs. Hornets. "Next week definitely, though," he said.— Jerry Zgoda(@JerryZgoda) March 9, 2012
Minnesota is looking to win its sixth consecutive home game and fourth game in a row. In the past three games, Kevin Love has registered double-doubles of 42 points and 10 rebounds, 39 points and 17 rebounds and 27 points and 16 rebounds.