Sports

Timberwolves give Pekovic day off at camp, aim to keep oft-injured big man healthy this year

FILE - In this March 31, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) drives against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. "I think the loss of Kevin Love, I think there was something somewhere in the air toward the end of the season," Pekovic said. "Still, we had some hope that he would stay. But we tried to make our team younger, and I see a lot of new faces, a lot of younger guys. Just waiting to see how Flip (Saunders) and the rest of the coaching staff are going to put everything together." (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

FILE - In this March 31, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) drives against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. "I think the loss of Kevin Love, I think there was something somewhere in the air toward the end of the season," Pekovic said. "Still, we had some hope that he would stay. But we tried to make our team younger, and I see a lot of new faces, a lot of younger guys. Just waiting to see how Flip (Saunders) and the rest of the coaching staff are going to put everything together." (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)  (The Associated Press)

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Nikola Pekovic took the day off from training camp on Thursday as the team looks to reduce the wear and tear on him that has led to injuries the last two years.

Coach Flip Saunders says they plan to give Pekovic days off here and there during camp. It's all part of a goal to keep one of the league's best offensive centers on the floor for the entire season.

Pekovic has missed 48 games in the last two seasons due to injury. His bruising style often leads to nagging injuries, so Saunders says he's going to do a better job of managing Pekovic's work load.

Saunders says they'd like to keep him under 30 minutes a night in games during the regular season.