Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Rubio can't wait to return to practice

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves injury report, Wolves players, Wolves pre-game Updated: November 30, 2012 - 12:24 PM

 About eight months and one week after having surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee, Ricky Rubio said the knee feels fine, he can’t wait to practice….

(Kevin Love missed the morning shoot with an illness and he is questionable for tonight’s game with Milwaukee and Andrei Kirilenko will miss his second straight game with back spasms.)

But no, he doesn’t yet know, exactly, when he will return to play point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“No idea,” he said, smiling, surrounded by a mob of media after Friday’s shootaround. During the Wolves’ last road trip, Rubio went to visit Richard Steadman, the Vail, Colorado surgeon who repaired his knee on March 21. He was given the green light to go full-out in practice.

Now he just has to actually have a practice to get some idea where he stands.

“It’s going to be my first practice with contact,” Rubio said of his first true team workout, which could come as early as Saturday. “I don’t know how I’m going to feel, if I’m going to feel great, if I’m going to feel weak. I don’t have any idea. I have it all in my mind, ‘Ooh, I want to practice. I want to dunk.’ But I don’t think I can.’’

That said, Rubio seemed extremely eager to get back on the court. The last eight-plus months have been difficult. “I think the most difficult part is being patient,” Rubio said. “You can’t do more than they said because you can get hurt. Being patient is hard. It’s hard but it is what it is. You just have to work as hard as you can and that’s it.”

Not that he has been wasting his time on the bench. Rubio said he has been able to learn a lot about his teammates – particularly the new ones – by watching from the sidelines. “You see all the plays, all the big mistakes when you are out that sometimes you don’t realize when you’re on the court,” he said. “Now I know them even better than I knew them before. “

Still, it will take time to mesh with the rebuild Wolves roster. “Let’s see how many practices I can go with them and see if I can still pass,” he joked.

 Rubio said he’s up to speed on understanding coach Rick Adelman’s offense; more of it has been installed this season compared to last year’s strike-shortened season. 

"That's what the point guard has to do," he said. "He has to learn all the plays. Not only in your position. You have to know where everybody has to go."

The Wolves’ upcoming schedule includes a lot of potential practice days. The team has three days between Friday’s game with Milwaukee and Tuesday’s road game at Philadelphia. After the two-game road trip, which includes at game at Boston Wednesday, the Wolves play at home vs. Cleveland , then has a four-day break. That’s why one possible return date could be Dec. 12 against Denver.

But much more will be known once Rubio actually gets on the court for a full-contact practice. And no, that new commercial for Footlocker and Adidas, which featured some backyard wrestling, doesn’t count.

“No that wasn’t contact,” he said. “It was all fake.”

Rubio said he has almost 100 percent full movement in the surgically-repaired knee, and feels good about his ability to slash and move side –to-side. He said he will not use a knee brace, but will use a sleeve on the knee at first. But he plans on ditching that as soon as possible.

And Rubio sounded like a gradual return isn’t an idea he’s in love with.

“I don’t think so,” he said, when asked if he could cut down his minutes to start with.  “But I will have to. That’s what the doctors said, that the first games we’ll have to limit the minutes, which I say OK. But once I’m out there, I don’t think I can handle that. But it’s going to be coach’s decision to put me on the court.”

Rubio said he had done a lot of running, but admitted that he has a ways to go to be in basketball game shape; he said he will do some extra sprint work after practices to regain that.

He can’t wait to begin.

“It feels good,” he said. “It feels like everybody was on the same track, everybody was working hard – me, the trainers the doctors. I think everybody did a great job. We just have to keep following and now it’s time to practice. As soon as I’m ready I want to play.”




Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 8th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 84 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 114 FINAL
Orlando 119
Utah 89 FINAL
Philadelphia 83
Miami 97 FINAL
Washington 99
Toronto 94 FINAL
Charlotte 103
Cleveland 86 4th Qtr 5:59
Atlanta 98
Boston 76 4th Qtr 9:24
New Orleans 71
Detroit 69 3rd Qtr 1:07
Houston 74
LA Lakers 75 4th Qtr 10:37
Memphis 67
Phoenix 62 3rd Qtr 4:48
Brooklyn 62
Denver 60 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 65
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 3 FINAL
New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 FINAL
Carolina 1
Buffalo 2 3rd Prd 9:52
Ottawa 3
Calgary 4 3rd Prd 9:36
Detroit 2
Edmonton 1 2nd Prd 12:40
Chicago 0
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 71 FINAL
Ball State 67
Bowling Green 75 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Brown 69 FINAL
Dartmouth 75
Toledo 59 FINAL
Eastern Mich 85
Akron 77 FINAL
Kent State 79
Ill-Chicago 72 FINAL
Oakland 69
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 46 FINAL
Penn 54
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 62 FINAL
Western Mich 74
Bradley 46 FINAL
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 77 FINAL
Murray State 80
Yale 43 2nd Half 3:41
Harvard 39
Furman 43 2nd Half 17:02
Citadel 27
Coll of Charleston 24 2nd Half
Drexel 29
UNC-Asheville 31 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 27
Texas Tech 32 1st Half 1:52
Baylor 30
Pacific 28 1st Half 0:05
San Francisco 28
Loyola-Chicago 7 1st Half 15:52
Indiana State 4
Detroit 0 1st Half 18:10
Cleveland State 2
Belmont 9:15 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
USC Upstate 45 FINAL
Northern Ky 64
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Nebraska 65 FINAL
(14) Iowa 74
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Colgate 45 FINAL
Army 48
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
Dartmouth 71 FINAL
Brown 53
Penn 50 FINAL
Columbia 34
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Kansas 49 FINAL
Kansas State 57
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
(15) North Carolina 47 2nd Half 11:43
(10) Louisville 42
San Jose St 92 2nd Half 3:34
Houston 10 2nd Half 20:00
Tulane 30
Utah State 38 1st Half 1:57
Colorado State 37
Colorado 30 1st Half 4:18
(8) Oregon State 23
New Mexico 30 2nd Half
Wyoming 28
Minnesota 6 1st Half 16:59
Ohio State 7
(12) Kentucky 16 1st Half 11:55
(11) Miss State 24
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Niagara 8 1st Half 14:18
Fairfield 8
Texas Tech 4 1st Half 15:42
West Virginia 2
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
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