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Ricky Rubio progressing well but likely out until December

Aug 16, 2012, 9:38 AM EDT

Sky Lynx Basketball AP

Derrick Rose wasn’t the only point guard to have a devastating knee injury last year, but Ricky Rubio doesn’t have an entire marketing campaign based around his return.

But like Rose, his team’s playoff goals hinge on his return.

And like Rose, Rubio has been working out to return and appears to be ahead of schedule. He had surgery in March and recovery normally takes close to a year, but Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press you should be thinking Christmas.

“The doctors said he was progressing faster than normal, and normal was supposed to be in January,” Taylor said Tuesday, Aug. 14, a day before heading to China on a two-week charity mission. “Faster than normal would be December. He’s going to start running and stuff in a few weeks.”

Minnesota will try to find a backcourt rotation until Rubio returns with Luke Ridnour, the returning from injury Brandon Roy and just signed Alexey Shved, who looked good in the Olympics but is an NBA rookie who will have to earn his run. Rick Adelman will play around with rotations in the preseason and see what he’s got, but things should be a lot more settled once Rubio returns and can start to play regular minutes.

The Timberwolves are a borderline playoff team, with Rubio directing the show at full health I would say they are in, but with him missing the first couple of months then trying to jump back in the fray it is going to be tight. They need big seasons from Kevin Love and guys like Roy and Andrei Kirilenko to make it a reality.

  1. donrwells3 - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Rubio looks like a journalist in this picture..

    Definitely not an All-star point guard…

    Never judge a book by i(SLLLLAMMMMMM) *rubio dunks all over the place*

    • b7p19 - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      All Star point guard?

  2. b7p19 - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I find myself really rooting for the Wolves to make their way into the playoffs. Can’t help but root for Brandon Roy, I really like Love’s game, Rubio is fun to watch (Though that picture puts him down a notch), Shved and Kirilenko as the Russian Federation. Fun stuff.

  3. echech88 - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    So from the looks of it Rubio was over the Beatles jokes and is now ready for Elvis Costello jokes.

  4. presidentialpeter - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Since when did they let hipsters into the NBA?

    • money2long - Aug 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      i don’t know who the real hipsters are (i hear dirk is a genuine one) but there are alotta wanna be ones : see westbrook

  5. Justin - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    A lot of the season does hinge on Rubio but this should still be a competitive team without him. People forget that Pekovic went down with injury shortly after Rubio and was not the same after that. He had to have surgery in the offseason. After this year if he stays healthy we’ll be talking about him as a top 10 center in the league.

    Also, the addition of Kirilenko regardless of his age is a giant upgrade over Wes Johnson. A healthy Brandon Roy is just a bonus. Last year 2nd round pick Malcolm Lee got playing time which shows how injured our team was. Throw in a bench rotation that includes Chase Budinger and Greg Stiemsma and this team could be on the playoff fringe before Rubio even returns.

  6. dls612 - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    These Damn injuries! I like teams at they full strengths! Love the competition! It makes the game much better!

  7. borderline1988 - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    The Wolves are a team that everyone wants to see healthy, because they look like a lot of fun and have some real talent on the roster.

    That being said, there’s too mayn question marks on this team regarding health (Rubio, Kirilienko, Roy, Pekovic) and their defense is not going to be very good regardless.

    Chances are they won’t make the playoffs…sorry people. There’s no way they make it in front of SA, OKC, Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets and Grizzlies.
    That leaves 2 spots for the likes of Dallas, Utah, Golden State (they are in a similar situation to Minnesota), Portland, and Minnesota.
    I’d say Dallas/Utah and GS fills up the last 2 spots. Minnesota only has a chance if they are healthy the whole year and everything goes right for them.

  8. fmlizard - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Believe it or not, some advanced statistical models like the Wolves better than even the Dwight Howard Lakers if both teams are at full strength…they check in behind OKC and SA in the West according to Basketball Prospectus.

    That said, every Wolves starter missed at least 20 games last season, and the entire backcourt is built on some very fragile knees. The team has the top end potential to host a series in the playoffs, but injuries will likely make them scrap for a 7 or 8 seed.

  9. scottolstad - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I haven’t seen anybody mention JJ Barea. He’s not a game changer, but he adds backup PG depth until Ricky returns. Luke is more than capable of being a league average point guard until Ricky returns.

  10. 00maltliquor - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Looks like Rubio has American culture down pat.

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