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Rubio says he hopes for December return, but will not rush it

Sep 27, 2012, 5:06 PM EDT

Ricky Rubio Getty Images

This is pretty much the timeline we have expected from Ricky Rubio — he is shooting to return sometime around Christmas from a torn ACL — but what is good to hear is he is looking at the long term.

Rubio’s return for two-thirds (give or take) of the NBA season is key to the Timberwolves making the playoffs this season — he is the straw stirring the drink. They have great pieces, starting with Kevin Love, but it is Rubio who controls the flow of the game. There will be pressure on him to return.

But he is thinking long term. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune spoke to Rubio and sent out a series of tweets about the conversation.

Rubio says he is running on a treadmill but is not jumping or doing anything explosive yet.

As much as the Timberwolves need Rubio back this season, what they really need is him for the next decade. Rushing back from injuries is how you make things chronic. He needs to go slow, the Timberwolves need to go slow.

Which will be easier to do if Minnesota can get off to a solid start this season without him.

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