Although the start of the upcoming campaign is still over two months from now, there are a group of players that are key members of their teams, who will not be ready to play once the season gets underway; as they are still recovering from injuries suffered last season. One of the players that fits that description, is Minnesota Timberwolves starting guard Ricky Rubio; the rookie was lost for the season in March, after he tore his left ACL in a 105-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The native of Spain, who had already become one of the most players on the squad, was not expected to return to the hardwood until January; however according to the “Pioneer Press,” Rubio could be back in action earlier than that.
The paper reports that Timberwolves Team Owner Glen Taylor said “The doctors said he was progressing faster than normal, and normal was supposed to be in January. Faster than normal would be December. He’s going to start running and stuff in a few weeks.”
The Timberwolves were in the thick of the Playoff hunt in the Western Conference, before the team lost their starter at the point. Luke Ridnour who took over the starting role after Rubio was injured, will once again be the starter until Rubio is ready to reclaim the position. Minnesota drafted the 21-year-old guard back in the 2009 NBA Draft, but did not sign a contract with the club until last year.
Taylor was asked whether he believes that the squad could capture a Post Season spot, if Rubio comes back at near full strength. He replied “That’s a high challenge, but I’m not going to shy away from it. We’ve got a very good coach and some of the players that he wanted, and without injuries, and if Ricky can get back soon, that should be our goal, to be in the playoffs.”
The Timberwolves will enter their second season with veteran head coach Rick Adelman on the bench. He helped to instill a winning mentality in most of his players in his first year with the team and the players he felt he did not connect with; such as Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic are now gone.