Report: Rubio’s Return Is Near

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has much to be thankful for during this holiday season. By almost every measure, his team overachieved throughout the first three weeks of the season, before slip-sliding through their current five-game losing streak.

In addition, he recently got All-Star power forward Kevin Love back in the lineup from injury.

And there could be more good fortune for the Adelman and the Timberwolves in the form of a healthy and fully recovered (from ACL surgery) Ricky Rubio. Originally believed to be on his way back sometime in the middle to end of December, there are signs that he could return sooner than expected.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune has the details, or better yet the lack of concrete details, coming from the Timberwolves regarding Rubio:

David Kahn said he still isn’t putting a timetable on Rubio’s return, as he hasn’t done all along.

But there’s no question Rubio’s return is getting closer, maybe closer than expected, particularly if you weren’t expecting him back until Christmas or later.

He’s been working out quite vigorously on his own before games — just saw him working up a sweat shooting and doing other drills — and it’s certainly possible he could be back in a game perhaps even sometime that first week of December, or shortly thereafter.

After watching Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews torch the Wolves Friday night in Portland, they could certainly use his defense.

“When he was healthy last year, he was very good keeping the people in front of him,” Rick Adelman said. “He was able to control the guard he was guarding and not let him get around him. He was in the Top 5 in steals. He was always in the right spot defensively as a team defender, too. He’ll help us. He’s give us a little more size there. His instincts will help us a lot.”

If the Timberwolves have any chance of saving themselves from their current dip on the dark side of the standings, they’ll need to do it now.

The sooner Rubio gets back into the flow — along with Love — the better chance they’ll have to do exactly that.


  1. Yehman says:

    I need him to average at least 30 fantasy points per game.

  2. Bok says:

    Good luck Rubio I hope everything works well for the T-Wolves.

  3. jmndodge says:

    Ricky’s return will make a huge impact on the wolves. His ability to see the floor and distribute the ball makes everyone better, and he plays strong defense. We haven’t seen it, but AK and Shved should work very well with Ricky’s abilities, we already know that Pek/Love/D-will all were much more effective and got great dunk opportunities with Ricky on the floor. Hopefully he is ready to go, has worked his way into condition with all the training, and plays without any injury setback.

  4. MoneyMane says:

    Rubio will make the ultimate difference between going to the playoffs this year or not. CANT WAIT FOR HIS RETURN, HE ADDS THE CRAZIEST DYNAMICS TO A MEDIOCRE TEAM! #TWOLVES #NATION

  5. spark says:


  6. dattebayo says:

    I am looking forward to seeing Rubio back on the court. None the less I don’t think that he is the Pups best player and I don’t think that he will improve their defense at all. Against Portland, the Pups played the poorest pick and roll defense I have seen all year. If the guards go under every screen, the bigs have to step out, hedge and/or contest shots. If they just don’t bother and give the guards space like they did in Portland, they will get burned by every guard who doesn’t shy away from taking open jumpshots or likes to drive to the rim. Still, as poorly as Love played on defense in that game, he still got a double double and it was only his 2nd game this season. Love is the most consistent player for the Wolves on offense and he is an incredible rebounder. He can still get better on defense and he is a proven allstar, to me that makes him the Wolves best player. Next best this season is clearly Kirilenko, he is just a great all around player and so far he has done all the little things to help them win games.
    I root for them and hope they do better, it’s just really sad they they already had to deal with so many injuries again.

    • WOLVES says:

      Saying you don’t think Rubio will improve their defense discredits yourself. Look at the numbers. They allowed in the range of 7-9 points less per 48 minutes in games he played than they did after he got injured.

      • dattebayo says:

        Clearly you didn’t understand me. Rubio is a better 1 on 1 defender than Ridnour, he proved that over and over last year and I recognize that. But teams are not dumb and they watch film too. If Minnesota keeps defending the pick and roll like they did against Portland, Rubio will not have a great impact on defense, because Ridnour isn’t the problem to begin with. If you allow NBA guards to get a step on their defenders and let them cut the corner at every high pick and roll, they will take advantage just like Lillard did against Minnesota. The bigs need to step out, hedge and give the defending guard a chance to catch up to his man. Otherwise it’ll be just Rubio running behind his man instead of Ridnour and Rubio is not known for chase down blocks (even though he had 2 last season).
        Again, I am rooting for the T-Wolves, but they just have to play better. They shouldn’t lose against Portland or Golden State even without Rubio.

  7. O'Ryan says:

    rubio is the wolves best player. He is a great player, on no matter what team he would play for. kevin love is the most consistant and he puts up monster numbers with very little winning result. Rubio could make anyone look good and any team better instantly. Last year he made the wolves a dangerous team with a bunch of nobody’s as a rookie!!!!!! his upside is scary good and his d is lock down!! his impact on the game is as dominant as lebron james even with little to no points.

    • O'Ryan says:

      in the game last year against miami if you watch is closely the highlights lebron and the rest of miami cannot contain rubio and they scream at each other the whole game to stop him when we made runs.

  8. Abc123 says:

    For me Ricky Rubio is underrated ,because suddenly he left they started being the old t-wolves (2010) and when he was healthy they were winning.

  9. charles says:

    Like many great players before him, Kevin Love will have to know the difference between great individual performance and great team performance. He’s been able to deliver some exceptional offensive moments while his team has suffered offensively. He has even been able to achieve great things in defense individually (particularly rebounding) while his team has been mediocre. So next challenge will be to raise the standarsd for everyone and that will take leadership from him and from Ricky Rubio. Although I think Rubio knows the team dynamics and variables much better than Kevin.