MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Ricky Rubio says he hopes to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves sometime in December but insists he’s “not going to rush it” to be sure he’s ready.
“I feel good, I started running three weeks ago,” Rubio said. “It’s so hard to watch basketball knowing you can’t play.”
Rubio’s rehabilitation from reconstructive left knee surgery is on schedule. He spoke to reporters Thursday about his progress.
Rubio was hurt at the end of Minnesota’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers last March 9, when he tried to plant his leg while defending Kobe Bryant. With one awkward bend of the point guard’s most important joint, Rubio’s impressive rookie season was over. And so was that realistic chance the Timberwolves had of making the playoffs for the first time since 2004. They went 5-20 after Rubio was hurt.
Rubio says running on the knee feels great, but he’s cautious about swelling. Right now, he’s running on a treadmill at a 6 mph pace only a few minutes at a time. In three or four weeks, he’ll start working on agility, but if the knee swells he’ll stop. At this point he can’t move laterally.
As for when he’ll be ready to play? He’s not sure.
“They say maybe December, but it could be like January,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t want to say when, because I don’t want to rush it.”
The injury has not only taken a physical toll on Rubio. He was not unable to play in the Olympics in London where Spain took home the silver medal.
“I have my silver medal already,” said Rubio. “So, I’ll get my gold in 2016.”
Timberwolves open their training camp next week in Mankato.
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