Notes from the Cleveland training camp.

The return of the wounded could make a big difference for the Browns.   If Kellen Winslow plays faster coming off microfracture knee surgery ...   If Leigh Bodden’s ankle procedure paves the way for him to be a No. 1 cornerback ...   If the Jamal Lewis of old emerges from ankle surgery ...   Among these and other ifs, not counting the nebulous LeCharles Bentley, none is as iffy as Gary Baxter.   Yet the 28-year-old cornerback showed up Thursday eschewing “if’’ and embracing “when.’’   “Things couldn’t be better in Gary Baxter world,’’ said the marquee pickup of the Browns’ 2005 free agent class. “I’m ahead of schedule. Things are looking very promising.’’   Things looked nightmarish when Baxter ruptured the patellar tendon in each knee while covering a sideline pass against the Jets on Oct. 29. He didn’t walk again until Dec. 23, the day a hellish hospital stay ended. He vowed on Christmas to be working by Labor Day.   He didn’t practice in this week’s minicamp but emphatically renewed his vow.   He won’t even say if he’s sprinting now, but ask him if he will play in the Sept. 11 opener against Pittsburgh, and he says, “That’s the plan.’’   “Rehabbing one leg is very, very tough,’’ Baxter said. “Two legs? When I’m done, I’m exhausted. I go home and take a three- or four-hour nap, every day.’’   “I am very strong right now in both knees. I’m where no one probably expected me to be.   “The response from 100 percent of the doctors is, ’You did ... what? You’re doing ... this?’’   “I’m pushing the limits of science. Everything I can do I’m doing. I’m all chips in and the results have been ...’’   Baxter paused and smiled a playful smile.   “... spectacular.’’   Baxter spoke from the edge of a practice field that had just been vacated by his teammates.  Baxter was asked if he could take off on the dead run. No contact. No cutting. Just a sprint.   “Come to training camp,’’ Baxter said. “I’ve got to leave your curiosity up for then.’’   D.A.’s Office   What chance does Derek Anderson have to be the opening-day quarterback?   “I’d say they’re good. That’s my opinion,’’ Anderson said after Thursday’s practice.   Romeo Crennel is guarding his thoughts on how Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn and Anderson are progressing like an ancient family recipe.   He probably won’t tip his hand until early August, and even then only because everyone will see how training camp reps are being divvied up.   “I feel they’re gonna give us an equal opportunity,’’ Anderson said. “The guy who performs well and moves the team the best ... it’s obviously gonna be that guy.’’   Anderson thinks his ability to get the ball out quickly and with lots of zip fits Coordinator Rob Chudzinski’s offense well.   Extra Points   - Where does rookie Round 1 pick Joe Thomas stand after minicamp? Crennel addressed the issue by talking about the incumbent at Thomas’ position. “Kevin Shaffer is the starting left tackle. I told him we’re looking for the best combination. In trying to find that combination, some of the time he might have to go to the right side to see how he does over there. If he can do good over there that gives us some flexibility.’’   - Cornerback Antonio Perkins, a Round 4 pick in 2005, was released at the end of minicamp. Fullback Alan Ricard, a former lead blocker for Jamal Lewis in Baltimore, also was let go.   - Baxter said the basketball thing is good for the football team: “The Cavs turned up the heat on us a little bit.’’   - Crennel said rookie cornerback Eric Wright’s talent “did show up’’ in minicamp. The loudest cornerback is Daven Holly, who lets out a primeval scream roughly every other time he is around the ball.   Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail