When Ricky Rubio went down early in Friday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic, it looked bad. The early MRI said that Rubio’s left ankle wasn’t broken but that he would need to be reevaluated on Saturday. That is typically never good news from the doctors. Wolves Nation learned yesterday ahead of the game against the Miami Heat that Ricky will be out indefinitely with a severely sprained ankle.
USA Today is reporting that Rubio may miss up to 7 or 8 weeks, which would put him out until after Christmas and potentially until we flip the calendar to 2015. Flip Saunders clarified a bit saying …
“He can’t put any weight on it to get any kind of weight-bearing x-ray. Two weeks, we’ll be able to look at it and then we’ll know.”
So what does this mean for the Timberwolves? First, as we learned last night in Miami, Zach LaVine will be thrown into the fire and will either sink or swim. LaVine was given the starting nod over Mo Williams by Flip Saunders. This actually makes a lot of sense for two reasons:
- LaVine gets quality minutes, something that was severely lacking in the first handful of games this season.
- It keeps Williams’ role as a veteran leader, instant offense off the bench and on the second unit.
Rubio of course suffered a torn ACL several years back so he is no stranger to the recovery process. It is a shame that this had to happen again to Ricky though as he was having a whale of a start to the season. The Wolves starting PG was averaging 9.4ppg, 10apg (3rd in the NBA), 5.6rpg, and 1.2 spg. More than all of that however, he looked like (and was) the leader on the floor for the club.
The Wolves have been competitive in each and every game thus far this season. However, the club got off to a wretched start last night in Miami, falling behind 29-13 after the first quarter. LaVine finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but the entire team struggled mightily. The team finished the game shooting 40% from the field but that was largely aided by a late run in the game to cut the Heat lead to four points.
Will the Wolves remain competitive over the next month or two without their leader? How does this affect the growing chemistry Rubio was building with Andrew Wiggins and others on the floor? These answers will come over the course of the next few weeks and the remainder of the season.
Here is to hoping Ricky is back sooner rather than later. Go Wolves!
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 8, 2014