My colleague/boss Dennis Brackin covered practice for me today at Target Center while I head to the airport to catch a flight westward for this quick two-game trip to Salt Lake City and Denver.

He reports:

* Don't expect Ricky Rubio to make the trip because of that stiff back that caused him to miss Saturday's victory over Phoenix.

Rick Adelman said it didn't make much sense to put Rubio and his spasming back on a plane to Utah and Denver for back-to-back games, the second of which he's wasn't going to play anyway.

Instead, unless there's a late change in plans before the team flies today, they'll keep him here for treatment and try to get him healthy for Saturday's game against Portland.

The start time for that 7 p.m. game, btw, won't be changed to avoid conflict with the Vikings' playoff game at Green Bay because Portland plays the night before in Memphis and needs 24 hours before it plays again and because the Wolves have their big, annual prep Shootout scheduled for Saturday and the headlining Apple Valley-Robbinsdale Cooper game is set for 3 p.m. and there's no wiggle room to move the start time up a couple, three hours.

* Andrei Kirilenko makes his return to Utah to play the Jazz for the first time after playing his first 10 NBA seasons there.

He said after practice that he can't imagine how he'll feel walking out onto the court and said he probably will recognize every fan sitting in the first 20 rows there.


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Wolves bring back Lazar Hayward

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Homecoming: Kirilenko returns to Utah