The Minnesota Timberwolves put an end to their five-game losing streak Monday night against the Sacramento Kings, and more good news could be coming soon. Point guard Ricky Rubio is currently in Vail, Colorado having his surgically repaired left knee checked out, and multiple reports suggest he could return to full contact practice later this week when the team returns from their current road trip.
Rubio returned to practice less than two weeks ago, and has been working out prior to games recently as well. His timetable for returning to game action has been expected to be around Christmas all along, but this most recent news makes it likely he can return a few weeks sooner than that.
Rubio certainly wants to return to action as soon as plausible with the Timberwolves struggling lately, but the team will definitely use caution with him upon his return to full practice. It will also be essential for Rubio to be honest about how his knee feels at that point and once he starts playing games, so he can avoid setbacks and not have to miss more time than he already has.
Given Luke Ridnour’s struggles defensively for most of the early part of the season, and speculation from coach Rick Adelman that he is not 100 percent, Rubio’s initial impact may surprisingly be felt most on that end of the floor when he returns. At minimum, his return will bolster what has been an injury-thinned Minnesota backcourt with Brandon Roy out regardless of how minutes he’ll be able to play in his first few games back.