Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy practiced fully on Thursday, intends to do so again Friday and said there's a chance he could play for the first time since Nov. 9 when Phoenix comes to Target Center on Saturday night.
"If everything feels good, I'll talk to Coach and see if Saturday is the day," he said.
Roy did 5-on-5 half-court work Thursday and will scrimmage with his teammates Friday in his first consecutive practices since he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee five weeks ago.
"These two days are good for me," Roy said. "Today was a good day, so going again tomorrow will just give me the confidence and reassurance that I can go out there and play in the game."
Roy last played 15 minutes in a home game against Indiana in the season's fifth game. He experienced discomfort and a "clicking" in the knee before deciding to have exploratory surgery that cleaned up loose fragments.
Thursday's practice was his second back with the team. He has been working diligently on his own and in one-on-one workouts with pal Will Conroy.
"Eventually, you just have to get back out there in games and see where you're at," said Roy, who retired in December 2011 because of his knees and launched a comeback when he signed with the Wolves last July.
"You don't want to rush back out there. Practices are good because you get a chance to see where you're at. These next couple days of practice are good not only so I can get a feel for what I can, but so Coach will be able to get a feel what I can do.
"All those things get decided once I get back out there on the court."
When Roy does return, Wolves coach Rick Adelman will need to work him back into the rotation just like he now is trying to do with Ricky Rubio.
"I don't even speculate on those things anymore," Adelman said when asked about the possibility of Roy returning Saturday. "I just wait and find out."
Adelman said Roy has practiced without "any ill effects" but the test will be the speed of live game action.
"The game is always different, but he's got a pretty good feel with how he plays," Adelman said. "He did fine. I don't see any problem with him at all. We'll just see how he feels each day and make a judgment where he's at. He hasn't done any extended minutes, but he's not favoring the knee at all."
Starting center Nikola Pekovic practiced fully Thursday and said he felt better after falling ill during Wednesday's 87-84 loss to Houston.
Pekovic left the game in the second quarter and returned at the end of the third quarter after receiving intravenous fluids.
"I feel better, I practice normal," he said. "One moment [Wednesday night], I feel really bad, like I have a breakdown in my body. I just feel bad. I start almost to see stars. It was better to go out because I couldn't help them. I just make more damage inside if I stay, so I go out, take some IVs and feel better."
The road back
Rubio and Kevin Love worked with the team's training staff long after practice Thursday. Love ran on an anti-gravity treadmill that reduces the weight bearing on his knees and ankles while Rubio leapt onto blocks.
Rubio's playing-time limit was increased from 18 minutes for Wednesday's game, when he played 21 minutes off the bench.
"It's going to be a process," Adelman said. "He's got to get his rhythm back when he plays. You knew it wasn't going to be easy. We'll just take it each day. He's trying to do too much, trying to make plays and do what's right for the team. Sometimes he does need to let the game come to him."