'All systems are a go' for Kevin Love to play Wednesday against Bulls
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Love was a full participant in practice on Tuesday and said he expects to be in the lineup against the Chicago Bulls after missing the last three games with a strained groin.
"Feel great," the Minnesota Timberwolevs' All-Star forward said after practice. "Most likely, all systems are a go. But that extra game rest really helped me. I feel if it doesn't tighten up on me, if I don't feel pain like I have the past three games, I should be a go (Wednesday)."
Love had been a spectator at practice since the groin injury forced him out of last Sunday's loss to the Sacramento Kings and missed the team's road trip to Dallas and Oklahoma City but was full-go at Tuesday's session.
"Full practice today, I felt pretty good," he said. "It took me a little bit extra time to get that groin worked and get that groin going, but once I got it going, I never really stopped and it didn't tighten up on me. But we will see how it feels in an hour or two from now.
Said coach Kurt Rambis, "He looked good. A little rusty in spots, but he looked good."
Rambis told reporters in Dallas last week there was a chance that Love would miss the rest of the season, but Love laughed that off, saying "that's just Kurt being Kurt.
"I missed these (past) three games, I'd like to get back on the court and it never crossed my mind I was going to sit out the rest of the season," Love added. "I just couldn't do that. I love the game too much and I couldn't stay away from it."
With a season full of personal accolades, Love was hoping to be the only player to player on the team to play in all 82 games but he started boasting a bit prematurely.
"I really wanted to play all 82 games," Love said. "I was bragging to everyone that, almost like bad karma for me or something, but I was bragging to everybody that I was the last one left that had played every game."
A potential silver-lining from Love's absence was the emergence of Anthony Randolph who started all three games in Love's spot. Randolph put up double-doubles against Dallas and Oklahoma City, scoring 31 and 24 points before getting swallowed hole by the defense of Kevin Garnett, which there is no shame in.
"He's another guy, kind of like (Michael Beasley), who really hasn't scratched the surface yet," Love said about Randolph's performance. "He is the type of guy that has all the tools in the world to work with. He can become a very good player in this league. I think you saw what we can bring to the table on any given night and he is only going to get better."
The Wolves stretch of facing the top three teams in the Eastern Conference continues Wednesday when soon-to-be MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls make there only appearance at Target Center followed by the polarizing Miami Heat stopping by on Friday.