Kevin Love worked long and hard after shootaround today at Target Center and afterward declared himself fit and ready to go tonight against pal Kevin McHale and a surging Houston Rockets team that has won four straight, six of its last seven and has scored 120 or more in each of its last three games.
Included were victories over Memphis and the defensive-minded Bulls.
Love missed Sunday's game at New York because of an injured eye -- blood in the eye after he got poked in it during Thursday's victory over Oklahoma City -- that didn't allow him to fly.
"Eye feels good," he said. "I'm all good to go."
Then he offered a real gem of a quote -- one of the best so far this season -- when someone asked if flying prevented him from playing in a 94-91 loss to the Knicks on Sunday:
"I guess so," he said. "They said there was something wrong with my eye. It didn't feel like there was, other than my vision being impaired."
Oh, is that all?
He said he's willing to wear glasses or goggles if he must.
"Should I?" he asked. "Make a fashion statement? I don't think I have to."
He said he got re-checked on Monday, the blood is all gone and he's ready to play.
"Back tonight and hopefully in 2013 and heading forward there will be no more flu-like symptoms or nagging injuries for me and the rest of the team," he said, referring to an injury- and illness-filled season so far.
A couple other things:
* Expect Ricky Rubio's minutes to be increased, starting tonight.
Rick Adelman said on Sunday that everybody would meet before the Rockets game and talk about taking the next step of increasing Rubio's playing time from that 18-minute mark he has been held at so far.
Rubio said after shootaround only that it will happen "soon."
"I don't know when, but it has been a good three, four games of 18 minutes," he said. "I feel nothing at all in my knee. That's a good test and we can move forward."
It's the rest of his body that's still sore, adjusting to the demands of playing after missing the last nine months, including a chance to get his body accustomed to the grind of an NBA season with a training camp.
Somebody asked him today how he feels.
"I feel good," he said. "It is Christmas time, so I'm happy."