Ricky Rubio is back in action on the court. Albeit his time is limited, the mere fact that he is practicing is a good sign. In what has been an injury ravaged 2012 season so far, it all started with Rubio’s injury in the middle of last season. Rubio tore his ACL in his left knee. After surgery, he began the long process of rehabilitation.
Since then, the Timberwolves also saw All Star Kevin Love go down with a broken right hand. Love and Rubio both began joining in on instructional portions of practice. Their participation has been limited to five-on-none drills, but it’s good to see them progressing.
“Just having them five-on-(none) gives you a sense that when you get them back we’ll be pretty good,” coach Rick Adelman said. “We can’t wait for them. We have to go out there and play. But it gives us a sense.”
Love is expected back at the beginning of December, while Rubio’s return is slated for mid-Decemeber. In addition to the two stars, the Wolves can’t catch a break in the injury department. It’s almost as if the Portland Trailblazers injury curse has traveled to the Midwest with the arrival of Brandon Roy. Chase Budinger is out three to four months after having surgery on his left knee. Nikola Pekovic (sprained left ankle) and J.J. Barea (sprained left foot) are both out a few more games as they recover. Finally, Brandon Roy, who was out with a sore right knee, will now undergo knee surgery for the 7th time since he graduated from high school. (As an aside, it’s sad to see Roy need another knee surgery. It will always be one of those “What If” careers.)
The Wolves continue to push through the injuries early in the season with a 5-4 record. The current four-day break has been much needed for the team. Now they just need to hold on for a few more weeks until Love and Rubio return. The fact that they’re practicing is a great sign.