Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman seemed grateful for Ricky Rubio's return to practice on Sunday after nearly nine months away.
And for more than just the obvious reason: Rubio gave him the one extra healthy body needed to scrimmage with two teams.
"We don't have a lot of people," Adelman said. "That's the problem we've got. If he didn't go, we didn't have 10. So..."
Rubio returned Sunday, but starters Kevin Love, Andrei Kirilenko and Malcolm Lee all missed most or all of practice.
Kirilenko didn't play in Friday's 95-85 home victory because of back spasms. He told reporters Friday night that he expects to play Tuesday at Philadelphia, but ...
"I don't think he's much better," Adelman said Sunday. "I saw somebody wrote where he was going to play in Philly, which got me all excited until I saw him today. I think we have to be aware he's not healing quickly."
Love practiced a short while Sunday, then sat out the rest. He still is feeling poorly after falling ill -- perhaps with food poisoning -- after Wednesday's game in Los Angeles.
He played Friday and reached his sixth double-double in six games back from a broken hand but made just five of 19 shots from the field and faded fast in the second half.
"He just didn't feel good at all today," Adelman said. "Hopefully, he'll get better by the Philly game. That's why we cut it short today. Let's go tomorrow and see if we can get 11 guys [healthy]."
Lee missed Friday's game because of an injured groin that bothered him earlier in the season. Without him, Adelman started point guards Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea and relied upon reserve guard Alexey Shved's decisive fourth-quarter performance.
If you don't count swingman Josh Howard, Ridnour, Barea and Shved are the only healthy guards Adelman has left, and Barea's sprained foot still is limiting him some.
Shooting guard Brandon Roy and swingman Chase Budinger also remain out while they recover from knee surgeries.