Ricky Rubio established himself as one of the most exciting point guards in the NBA last season before tearing his ACL on March 9, ending his rookie campaign and leaving his return date for this year up in the air.
UPDATE: Wednesday, December 12 at 11:42 a.m. ET
Encouraging news for Timberwolves fans and fantasy owners as Ricky Rubio is reportedly closing in on his season debut, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.
Minny PG Ricky Rubio won't be making his debut tonight. Odds are it'll be Saturday at home. He'll keep reassessing daily.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 12, 2012
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Friday, December 7 at 12:18 p.m ET by Michael Cahill
Rubio is inching closer to returning to the court for the Timberwolves, but according to the Timberwolves PR twitter account, it's not happening against the Cavaliers tonight.
Injury update: Ricky Rubio will not play tonight. Kirilenko is a gametime decision. #Twolves— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) December 7, 2012
--End of Update--
UPDATE: Friday, November 30 at 12:34 p.m. ET by Alex Ballentine
It appears that Timberwolves fans may have to practice a little patience in waiting for Rubio's return to the lineup. According to Jon Krawczynksi of the Associated Press, Minnesota has set no official timetable for Rubio's return.
Rubio says no timeline for his return. Still has to be patient. Anxious to see how knee responds to contact work— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) November 30, 2012
More information should become available once the Timberwolves get a good idea of how Rubio's knee holds up during full-contact practice.
---End of Update---
The team's PR feed also mentioned this about his status moving forward:
Final medical hurdle cleared:Rubio & #Twolves medical staff will assess his ability to play in games after monitoring progress in practices.— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) November 28, 2012
Without Rubio, the T'Wolves have gone 6-7 this season—putting them four games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference's Northwest division. That's not great, but it could be much worse.
Getting Rubio back on the court would be a tremendous boost. Now that Kevin Love is back as well, this team would have a formidable rotation for opponents to deal with on both ends.
Before getting hurt last year, Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds. He's not a lockdown defender, but he did prove himself sneaky with his 2.2 steals per night. He made Minnesota into an exciting team to watch because of his court vision and unparalleled creativity in the open floor.
Luke Ridnour has been fine with Rubio out, and J.J. Barea has done an adequate job as the No. 2 option, but neither player is Rubio. Especially in Ridnour's case, getting Rubio back in the mix would allow him to play a more comfortable role as the team's sharpshooter off the bench.
It's hard to tell when Rubio will return. One setback could derail all of his progress, but this is exciting nonetheless. It was sad to see him go down considering how dynamic he proved to be during his brief time on the court.
The Timberwolves may not win every night, but this is a fun team to watch. Rubio would make them even more so.
Stay tuned for updates regarding his playing status.