Ricky Rubio had his first-full practice of this season today after missing offseason, training camp and early season due to rehab from a right knee surgery.
While it may take a while for Ricky Rubio to gain his former strength and speed in the legs, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman believes the former 5th overall pick still retains his instinctive ball handling skills and court vision, which will be critical in a comeback after nine months of absence.
"That's there. He showed that today," said Rick Adelman. "He passed the ball very well, got to spots. That's always going to be there.”
Ricky Rubio’s knee didn’t seem to draw any major issues during his first practice in a long time. However, there’s still no timetable for Ricky Rubio’s return for his first game this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio wants to make his knee is a 100 percent after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament of his right knee in March, resulting in the first serious injury and the longest rehab of his career.
"After a long time, I'm on the court again," said Ricky Rubio. "It felt pretty good to start knowing my teammates again."
The 7-8 Minnesota Timberwolves have been burdened by injuries through the season with forwards Kevin Love (illness) and Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms), as well as guard Malcom Lee (groin) all missing practice on Sunday. An early return by Ricky Rubio will bring back a key player to the lineup after the Minnesota Timberwolves managed to hang around the .500 average with a pile of critical injuries.
The 22-year-old Ricky Rubio practiced in a five-on-five workout, and then stayed behind an hour later to do some running and catch-and-shoot drills to build strength in his legs and get them used to the movement. Ricky Rubio expressed that at some stages he experienced minor discomfort in the knee but Minnesota Timberwolves trainers dismissed the issue as nothing more than the breaking up of scar tissue from the surgery.
"It will feel weird for a while,” said Ricky Rubio. “Until I'm feeling great and nothing at all about my knee, I'm not going to play. Actually, I'm happy about today."
However, the physical toll of the injury isn’t the only issue facing Ricky Rubio at the moment. After missing significant time with the first injury of his career, Ricky Rubio will have to rebuild confidence on every cut or dive he makes at the basket, while secretly fearing from being sidelined with another major injury.
"I felt pretty good, but I want to be perfect," expressed Ricky Rubio. "I have to work hard. I have to keep working and see where I'm at."
Monday’s practice could be a big indicator to Ricky Rubio’s current form recovering from the knee injury.
“It's just going to be his conditioning and his legs and how long can he go?” said Rick Adelman. “That's going to be the biggest thing."
The Minnesota Timberwolves enter back back-to-back games starting against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday before hitting Boston to face the Celtics on Wednesday. Thursday will be off for the Minnesota Timberwolves until they play again at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.