It has been a noteworthy offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves, with multiple new additions to the roster and plenty of other rumors surrounding players they may be interested in.
The key for any chance the team has to make the playoffs in 2012-2013 rests on the progress point guard Ricky Rubio makes from the left knee injury (torn ACL and LCL) he suffered last spring.
To this point the news has been positive, with no reported complications during surgery or thus far in the rehab process. That positive vibe was added to on Thursday with a report Rubio hopes to start running next week with an eye toward making his season debut sometime in December.
That would put him around nine months removed from the injury under that timetable, which does not seem overly optimistic or unrealistic as long as Rubio continues to avoid any major setbacks in his recovery. When he does return to action, the Timberwolves should be in a position to ease him back into action with the backcourt depth they have currently assembled.
Rubio was a revelation for Minnesota last season, averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game in the 41 games (31 starts) he played prior to suffering the injury against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 9.
His reported shortcomings as a shooter were well-founded, as he made less than 36 percent of his shots from the floor, but he has helped make the Timberwolves relevant again after many years of poor attendance and bad television ratings.