Love returns to practice after tests on knee, Johnson practicing "without any major discomfort," Rambis calls Tolliver "a relentless worker," team has public scrimmage tonight, players volunteer in Mankato and more
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love returned to practice full speed Tuesday night after missing the morning session because of swelling in his right knee.
Love returned to the Twin Cities from Mankato Tuesday morning for an MRI examination that proved negative.
"Not even minor, below minor," Love said. "Just a little bit of swelling and irritation. I woke up today and didn't feel right."
He called the trip back to the Twin Cities and the MRI "just a precautionary thing" and practiced fully and scrimmaged Tuesday night while wearing a padded compression sleeve on his knee.
• The team participated in a spirited scrimmage tonight. As seen throughout the four days in Mankato, the level of competition was extremely high and Rambis seems to be allowing the players to battle in 5-on-5 games while interjecting at specific moments during the practice.
• The team plans on a morning practice before a public evening scrimmage tomorrow night.
Following camp, the Wolves will go to England and France, playing a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 4 in London and another against the New York Knicks on Oct. 6 in Paris.
However, Rambis said that the southern-Minnesota getaway not only gives the team the time and the facilities to hold a camp but also provides down time that the players might not get at home.
"Sometimes when you’re going through camp, you need a certain amount of rest in the afternoon and evening," he said. "If you’re going home and you’ve got things to do at home and family and responsibilities and children, that can make it more tiresome because you’re not getting the rest you need."
Rambis said players were struggling to get through the workout. When Anthony Tolliver's name came up, Rambis had a much different reaction.
"He might be the only guy who's not tired and sore," Rambis said of the 6-foot-8 Tolliver. "He does everything with an incredible amount of energy ... run, shoot, defend, bang under the basket. He's a relentless worker."
Even with a guaranteed contract, the first in his sporadic NBA career, Tolliver maintains the work ethic that earned him the security of a two-year deal worth $4.8 million with the Wolves, who signed him as a free agent in August.
Tolliver made sure he was in top physical shape knowing he would have to defend some athletic players in camp, particularly forwards Michael Beasley, Martell Webster and rookie Wes Johnson. Rambis is considering giving Tolliver significant minutes at either forward position or as a backup center in certain situations behind Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic.
"When I'm 100 percent, I'm going to let it all out," Johnson said. "I'll be flying everywhere, trying to dunk on somebody. That's when they'll know I'm ready."
Until then, the 6-foot-8 Johnson plans to be careful in showing the skills that led many draft experts to rate him the best small-forward prospect in the nation last season while starring at Syracuse. The Wolves' coaching staff has limited Johnson's participation to avoid aggravating the hamstring, which has bothered him since he played in the rookie summer league in July in Las Vegas.
Johnson's steady improvement the past two days gave coaches and teammates a peek at what's to come. Johnson handled drills and scrimmaging the past two days without any major discomfort. He appeared to have his best session in Tuesday night's scrimmage.
He is a vortex of motion and noise, a bubbling force of nature who teammates quickly discovered they can hear before they ever see him.
"When you're on the ninth floor and he's coming from the fourth floor, you know it's Michael Beasley coming off that elevator," teammate Kevin Love said.
By training camp's second morning, veteran guard Luke Ridnour -- easily the team's oldest player at age 29, eight years older than Beasley -- asked him from where all that hyperkinetic energy flows.
"I told him I wish I could feel like he always does,' " Ridnour said. "He's never tired."
After signing the extension in July, Milicic said he prepared himself over the summer more diligently than he ever had as a professional and reported to Wolves training camp determined to finally make it work. Rambis visited Milicic in Europe and sent assistant Bill Laimbeer to Serbia for two weeks this month prepare him for a bigger role than he's ever had.
He's lost 10 pounds and has some definition in his upper body that was not there last season.
"Last February, I almost shut it down," Milicic said. "(Now I'm) much better. I was working on a lot of running, running sprints. That's what I do, two months before I do a lot of running, sprints outside, try to be lighter."
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From the Timberwolves:
The Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation and Wolves players Michael Beasley and Lazar Hayward are partnering with MSU's Campus Kitchen to deliver food to needy families in the Mankato area.
The Campus Kitchen Project is a groundbreaking initiative that brings colleges and universities together with student volunteers, on-campus dining service professionals, and community organizations to combat hunger in cities across the United States.
The Timberwolves are in town for training camp, but Tuesday they took their game off the court and into the classroom for the T-wolves "Read to Achieve" initiative. Two Timberwolves players read to second graders at Roosevelt Elementary in Mankato.