Rubio cleared to return to practice but news not all good for Wolves

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 29, 2012 - 6:35 AM

Ricky Rubio may be ready by the second week in December. However, Andrei Kirilenko was sidelined Wednesday with a stiff back.

LOS ANGELES - Given their season so far, it's probably fitting that on the same day the Timberwolves received important, encouraging injury news, they took one step back on that front, too.

Ricky Rubio's knee surgeon Wednesday cleared him to participate with no limitations in contact practices, a decision that could have the precocious point guard back playing games by the second week of December.

That same night, however, starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko missed a game against the Clippers because of back spasms that bothered him since Saturday's game at Golden State and worsened after he played 41 minutes in Monday's victory at Sacramento. Veteran Josh Howard started for him at small forward.

Rubio hasn't played since he tore his ACL and lateral collateral ligament near the end of a March 9 game against the Lakers. He underwent surgery in Vail, Colo., on March 21, the start of an eight-month rehabilitation process that included several return visits to Colorado for checkups.

His latest visit this week brought clearance from Dr. Richard Steadman that it's time for Rubio to really go back to work.

"Certainly it gives us hope that if he can play at the level he was, then suddenly we're a much better team than we were," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said.

Adelman was careful not to put a timeline on when Rubio might play his first game. But he did mention a schedule that gives Rubio three practice days next week and three or four the week after. That would put a return right around a Dec. 12 game against Denver at Target Center.

"Ricky is going to have to come back and allowed to be himself," said teammate Kevin Love, who's just back from injury himself. "He might be a step slow. Like me, he'll probably need to get his legs underneath him. But he'll get better. He has worked extremely hard to get to where he is now. We're excited to have some good news."

A.K. out

Kirilenko, however, walked carefully because of a stiff back around the Wolves locker room in a sport coat and jeans before the game.

Adelman said Kirilenko played the entire second half Monday because both of them were concerned his back would stiffen and he'd be done for the night if he came out of the game.

"All this will pass," said Kirilenko, who said he has the same condition every year and it usually takes six, seven days to resolve itself. "Before the age of 25, I never show up in a treatment room. Twenty-five, you start going there and 30, you're always there."

Like a boy scout

Howard kept talking to Derrick Williams on the bench when he didn't play a second in three of the past four games entering Wednesday night. Howard has told the former No. 2 overall pick to remain patient.

Williams didn't play in Tuesday's victory at Sacramento because Adelman shortened his rotation and played to win, but did play 11 minutes -- scoring 10 points, with two three-pointers -- Saturday at Golden State.

"Just stay focused, stay ready," Howard said about his message. "I've been in his position before, try to tell him to live off the good, all the positive things he has done and don't think nothing's wrong. I went through it my first five, six months in the league and once I figured it out, the sky was the limit after that.

"It's a tough league, over 300 guys out here who can do the same thing you can do. Do what you can do and go out there and execute. You've just got to be ready, at any time."

  • related content

  • Wolves Ricky Rubio

  • wolves notes at l.a. clippers, late Up next: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Milwaukee Target Center • TV: Ch. 29 (830-AM)
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 1 3rd Prd 8:42
Edmonton 2
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close