In a span of 48 hours, The Wolves will make flights to Salt Lake City, Denver, then back to Minneapolis, in addition to playing two basketball games. Not the sort of itinerary for someone with back problems, so the Wolves made the decision Tuesday to leave Ricky Rubio behind.
Rubio, who missed Saturday's home game against Phoenix because of back spasms, did some shooting but no practicing Tuesday. His back remains stiff, said coach Rick Adelman.
"It's just something we don't need to push," Adelman said. "We don't want something else to go haywire."
Rubio, who missed the first 20 games this season after undergoing major knee surgery a year ago, is scheduled for three days of back therapy. He's targeting a return Saturday night at home against Portland.
Until Rubio returns, Adelman will have only three natural guards for two backcourt positions: Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea and rookie Alexey Shved.
The most likely option for depth is newly-signed Lazar Hayward, normally a small forward, with Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams available if needed.
"Good chance," Adelman said when asked if Hayward was ready to play. "I think we can put him out there for short minutes."