Mar. 1, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio signals a play in the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Timberwolves Guard Ricky Rubio Cleared For Full-Contact Practice


Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio met with doctors earlier in the week in hopes of returning to the NBA hardwood sooner rather than later. By all accounts, the visit was a success and Rubio return will be much sooner than many expected.

Rubio has been cleared for full-contact practice without restrictions, but there remains no timetable for his return.

The Timberwolves released an official statement and they made it clear that they would not hurry Rubio back to the court. It could still be a few weeks before we see Rubio back on a NBA court. Here is part of the team’s official press release:

[Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn] said when Rubio does return, Rubio will likely be targeting about 16-18 minutes per game as he gets re-adjusted to live NBA basketball.

“He’ll be eased in,” Kahn said. “The likelihood is he’ll play his first game around 16-18 minutes and then from there the medical staff and Ricky will determine on a game-by-game basis what to do next.”

Kahn said he’s felt good about Rubio’s progress in the last several weeks just watching him at practice and before games. He’s been starting to move really well, Kahn said, and he’s been pleased with the diligence Rubio showed throughout the process.

“It’s an uplifting thing for everybody—management and players and of course the fans,” Kahn said. “The day is getting closer.”

The Timberwolves have been anticipating Rubio’s return and he will surely provide an emotional surge for the team when he finally returns to the court. With the duo of Kevin Love and Rubio, the Timberwolves could be preparing for a serious run at the playoffs.

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