Rubio had surgery on his knee on March 21st in Vail Colorado. It was initially thought he only tore his ACL, but during surgery they found his LCL was torn as well, both were reconstructed and he's expect to have a 6-9 month timeline for a return.
He returned earlier this week from Colorado on Glen Taylor's private jet and met with the media for the first time since the injury on Tuesday (April 10). He's currently on crutches and will be for at least another month.
He did say that he was uncertain whether he'd be at 100% or ready by the beginning of training camp. However his exuding smile and optimism were present during the press conference on April 10th.
"I was happy to see all the people helping me and just giving shout-outs," said Rubio. There's no doubt there was an out-pouring of support from people on the street, fans, friends, family and fellow NBA players (such as D-Wade & LeBron James).
Ricky's importance to the Timberwolves has been well-documented this season. Rubio played 41 games for the TWolves this season (starting 31 of those) and had played every game of the season up until March 9th when he was 'bulldozed' by Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Ricky's knee buckled and just like that his season was over. What we didn't know was that it would also spell the end for the Wolves' playoff hopes.
At that time the Timberwolves were the 8th seed in the Western Conference and on their way to the NBA playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season. The Wolves have played 17 games since Rubio went down and have won 4 games since March 9th in 17 tries (4-13)! Stats don't lie! Rubio was a big key to Minnesota's success and the 'heart and soul' of this team.
For a young guy who loves basketball so much and has been playing professionally since he was a teenager, Ricky Rubio is desperate to get back on the floor. "You want to play so bad. You just have to enjoy watching basketball, because it's the only way you can do it."
He'll be heading back to Colorado in a month for a follow up exam, when we'll get a rough estimate of a timetable for his return. Typical recovery time is 6-9 months and the Wolves are confident he'll be available for the beginning of the 2012-13 NBA season (roughly 7.5 months from now).
"I don't know when I'm going to come back. The first thing that I want to make sure is when I come back, I'm 100 percent. I don't want to put a date on it, because it depends on how my knee feels."
Ricky said he didn't believe the injury was that serious and at the most he'd miss a game or two. I honestly felt the same way, it didn't look to serious upon first look, I figured he just knocked knees with Kobe. I don't think anyone expected we'd lose him for the season or that he'd be missed as much as he has been (of course the injuries to key guys like Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea, Michael Beasley & Nikola Pekovic didn't help, but that's another story).
Adelman and Love both talked briefly about Ricky Rubio and his optimism. "Obviously, spirits are always high with him. He's not a guy who gets down. Happy to see him. Hopefully he'll have a speedy, quick recovery," said Kevin Love.
"When I've had contact with him, he seems really upbeat. That's going to be the whole key, making sure his rehab goes good throughout the summer. Knowing him, he's going to do everything he can," said head coach Rick Adelman.
Ricky finishes his rookie season in the NBA with averages of 10.6ppg, 8.2apg, 4.2rpg, 2.2spg, 36% FG, 34% 3PT, 80% FT, 12 double-doubles in 41 games and 34.2mpg.
"You have to be strong and do your best to try and come back even harder. I love basketball. I love playing basketball and I'm going to do my best to play again."
Here's hoping for a full and speedy recovery for Ricky Rubio. Next season is going to be A LOT of fun to watch.
Here's also hoping that the Wolves can end this year on the 'right note' by grabbing a few more wins! Tonight the Wolves face the Nuggets, that one tips at 8pmCT from the Pepsi Center.
Thanks for reading HOWL, GO WOLVES and OLE! OLE! OLE!