Nikola Pekovic done for season

Nikola Pekovic, left, averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in just 31 games this season and has never played a full 82-game season because of injuries. Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves have shut down Nikola Pekovic for the rest of the season because of a lingering right ankle injury, coach Flip Saunders announced Monday.

Pekovic, who has been out since March 11 because of bursitis, played just 31 games this season, averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Since signing a five-year, $60 million contract in August 2013, Pekovic, 29, has played in just 85 games and is still owed $36 million through 2018. He has spent his entire five-year NBA career with the Timberwolves.

To finish out this season, Saunders will continue to start Gorgui Dieng, when healthy, at center and use Justin Hamilton as the main backup.