It must be law: The Timberwolves get one player back from injury and another one goes out.

And so it went during Sunday’s 112-100 loss at Atlanta, where reserve forward Robbie Hummel broke his shooting hand just three games after center Nikola Pekovic returned from a 31-game absence.

The Wolves termed Hummel’s injury a nondisplaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his shooting hand. He said he expects to miss four to six weeks after he hit it during a collision at third quarter’s end.

“I don’t even know. I have to look at the play because it happened so fast,” Hummel said. “It just felt weird right away. I knew it wasn’t right.”

Hummel had started the past four games before Sunday night and appeared to be finding his place in coach Flip Saunders’ rotations.

“It’s really disappointing,” Hummel said. “It’s tough to get in a rhythm, and I felt I have been the last couple weeks. It’s frustrating, but there are worse things that could happen. I’ve been through it before [he tore his ACL twice within a year at Purdue] so it’s just a bump in the road. Compared to the ACLs, this is nothing.”

A big experiment

Saunders experimented with a big lineup Sunday, starting centers Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng beside each other and moving Thaddeus Young over to small forward away from Dieng’s power-forward spot.

Pekovic played 36 minutes in his first start after coming off the bench for two games. Young had 26 points, seven assists, six rebounds and played 42-plus minutes in what he called his first such extended small-forward stretch in years.

“We haven’t even practiced it, we haven’t had time,” Saunders said. “At times, it was good. At times, it wasn’t. We’ll experiment with it.”