Kevin Love and Malcolm Lee returned to practice on Monday and accompanied the team on its afternoon flight to Philadelphia for a quick two-game trip that ends Wednesday in Boston.

Even though Andrei Kirilenko remained out, Rick Adelman was encouraged by return of Love and Lee in his usual, dry way.

"We made some real strides today: We started with 12 and ended with 12," Adelman said. "So that's baby steps, but at least it happened."

Love is back after missing Sunday's practice because he was still feeling ill from some bug that hit him after Wednesday's game in Los Angeles against the Clippers. He played in Friday's victory over Milwaukee, but clearly was not at top form.

Lee missed Friday's game because of a groin injury that bothered him earlier this season and didn't practice Sunday.

J.J. Barea started for him against the Bucks.

Kirilenko remains out because of those back spasms that have sidelined him since Wednesday's game in L.A.

Meanwhile, Ricky Rubio practiced Monday for the second consecutive day.

He went with the team to Philly but Adelman almost chuckled when asked if there's any chance Rubio will play on this trip.

"No, no, we can't," Adelman said. "He's a long ways from doing that."

Wolves coaches intend to work Rubio hard Tuesday in Philadelphia and Wednesday in Boston and then will see where he's at as far as his conditioning and stamina.

Best guess for his return: That Dec. 12 game against Denver at Target Center, although there's no guarantee of that.


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Lee returns to the lineup for Timberwolves tonight