March 1st, 2015
Ricky Rubio may or may not return to Minnesota Timberwolves; having been cleared to play against the Dallas Mavericks Monday night, the outcome of which will decide whether he will continue playing for the Timberwolves.
Ever since Rubio severely injured his left ankle on November 7th, he has missed 43 games. Without Rubio, the wolves fell to the bottom of the league. After Saturday night’s loss of 106-90 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they fell down to 8-39. After Rubio’s return, the team is planning to limit the time he spends on the court in order to see how his ankle is responding.
Coach Saunders said, “Rubio has seen three specialists, and all have cleared him for Monday, should the exam reveals everything is OK. He’s been given the go ahead to play for a limited time. We are all waiting for Monday”.
Rubio had already signed a contract extension of $54 million before the season and has been working hard with the wolves and got a great start, and then went down with his ankle injury, the first of his career.
On the injury front of Timberwolves, there has been a series of crucial developments, first of Nikola Pekovic’s return from an absence of 31 games because of ankle and foot issues on January 21st, and the return of Kevin Martin on Wednesday , who was away for 34 games due to a fractured wrist.
This trio was going to pave the path for the Timberwolves early this season, with Kevin Love traded off to Cleveland starting another team rebuilding plan. Timberwolves hasn’t been in a single playoff since 2004. This team was the perfect blend, veterans like Rubio, Pekovic, Martin, and Thaddeus Young, all of which did the heavy lifting, while the rookies Zach LaVine, and Andrew Wiggins and Sophomore Shahbazz Muhammaed, Anthony Bennett, and Gorgui Dieng can ease into it.
In the seasons’ fifth game, the plans faded when Rubio stepped atop an Orlando defender’s foot to drive to the hoop. The result was severe damage and sprain of the ligaments and muscles, from his toes to his ankles.
The Timberwolves score at the time was 2-2 with losses to Chicago and Memphis. The absence of Rubio had forced LaVine to the position of point guard and leaving veteran Mo Williams to the handle playmaking responsibility, after he had signed on for a year-long deal the previous summer.
Without Rubio, the first five games were lost, Pekovic’s foot problems returned yet again latter on the same trio, and Martin’s wrist got fractured on November 19th. Having only won 3 times after playing 32 times, the Timberwolves effectively buried themselves well before the New Year had even started.
Ricky Rubio is pressing hard to return to the team, while the Timberwolves are playing it defensive and taking no chance what so ever with their point guard. As coach Saunders mentioned that the doctors cautioned last week that an early return may cause a stress fracture, resulting in another long absence.
Picture source: darthpedrius