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RICKY RUBIO OUT FOR THE REST OF THE REGULAR SEASON DUE TO INJURY
Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:58 AM EDT

Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio, will miss the rest of the season with a ripped ACL in his left knee, the team announced. Now the pretender Wolves must keep chasing a playoff berth without the flashy, fiery leader of the franchise’s rebirth.

Rubio went down in the closing seconds of a loss to the Lakers on Friday night, when his knee buckled as he attempted to help out on defense against Kobe Bryant. An MRI on Saturday confirmed everybody’s concerns, and there were many of long faces before the Wolves hosted the New Orleans Hornets. Las Vegas odds

“It’s just too sad,” Coach Rick Adelman expounded. “He was having such a great year, he had such a great influence on our team and the way our team was playing and I think the league. It’s too bad any time you see a young player drop down like that with an injury like that. You feel for him more than anybody else.”

In his 1st season after coming from Spain, the 21-year-old was averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 assists, but his impact has been so much bigger than his numbers. Vegas odds

The floppy-haired, irrepressible young point guard changed the dynamic of a reconstructing team about from the moment he set foot in Minnesota. His flashy, free handed play galvanized his teammates, and his fun-loving nature has been a fast draw at the ticket office, where the Timberwolves have just sold out 7 games this season, their most since 2006-07.

He’s one of the hottest players in a tight-knit locker room and has helped make chemistry with the team which has paid dividends through the 1st 41 games this season.

Rubio is averaging 2.2 steals per game and is one of the better help defenders on the fringe in the league.

Most vitally, Rubio’s play has interpreted to victories. The Timberwolves were eighth in the West, putting them in position to be accepted for the playoffs for the 1st time since 2004, before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night to fall a half-game behind Houston.

Guard J.J. Barea is also injured, with a sprained left ankle keeping him out of the last 2 games. That means Luke Ridnour, who has been starting at shooting guard with Rubio at the point, is the sole player with experience playing the point guard on the roster.

The Wolves called up 2nd-round draft pick Malcolm Lee from the D-League on Friday, but he has still to play in a game in his rookie season as a result of a knee injury.

Kahn related the team was assessing its alternatives ahead of the March 15 trade deadline, but wanted to discover how Lee played before going on to make any choices.

The instant challenge isn’t letting the injury let down the significant advancement the team has made.

“We are still in the thick of things,” Kahn recounted. “I’m very hopeful based mostly on the competitiveness of the team, which is seen about nightly, that we’ll continue to be competitive night after night after night.”

Minnesota is preparing to embark on a demanding two-week road trip and could outline its season.


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