He took the NBA by storm with his dazzling passes and ability to hit the open shot but in an instant, Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio went down with a terrible knee injury. And with that, the winning spirit went out of the Timberwolves and their chance for a playoff appearance floated away.
Now that the Timberwolves have done some roster changes to improve the team heading into next season, all that's missing is their floor leader to come back at full strength to help guide the young team.
Timberwolves' GM David Kahn gave an update on Rubio's road back to recovery and for Minnesota fans, it will be a sigh of relief.
"He told me two days ago he's feeling great and he thinks he can run right now, but the doctors won't let him. When he had his last checkup in Vail June 21, the doctor felt he was ahead of schedule. We go back to Vail the start of August and based on what Ricky told me, I think things are going great."
Kahn said three different members of the team's medical staff have gone to Barcelona in shifts to be with Rubio while he rehabilitates that knee. Rubio will return to Spain after that next checkup in Colorado and a Wolves employee will accompany him then, too, so that somebody will be with him every day in Spain.
"I never want to look back in a couple months and say, `Gosh, if we only had done this he would have been ready sooner," Kahn said.
Rubio needs to be back next season to continue forging Minnesota into a playoff team especially with the new additions to the team. Moreover, the Timberwolves do not have much depth at the point guard spot with J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour being the next set of point guards. And aside form his offensive prowess, he also proved to be quite the defensive player with his 2.2 steals per game last season. Plus, with Kevin Love voicing his displeasure with the direction of the team, having Rubio back to bring that spark to the team will also be helpful in keeping Love pleased.
The biggest draw back from him being out, however, is that he cannot work on his game. Despite his glowing stats (Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds last season) he did shoot a paltry 35% from the field, and turned the ball over 3.2 times per game.
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And Kahn is targeting AK-47. Now we just gotta trade Derrick Williams (for Jimmer), and cut Malcolm Lee... and we're all white! Bringin the 1950's back! Neo-Nazi Kahn is doin work.
So they dont have depth at point guard yet JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour are on the team? They might have more depth at pg than any team in the league. They have 3 true point guards.