Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has been cleared to practice with the team, after ending his rookie season March 9 with a knee injury.
Rubio was injured playing against the Los Angeles Lakers. He'd been drafted from Spain in 2009, was playing his first year with the NBA, and was considered key to turning around a losing franchise.
But Rubio tore his ACL with less than a minute left in the game after colliding with Kobe Bryant. He had the ACL surgically repaired two weeks later, and has been recovering ever since. Now the team says a doctor in Colorado has declared Rubio well enough to practice with his teammates.
Team doctors will monitor his progress in practice and decide when he's ready to play for the Wolves in games.
Rubio played in 41 games last season and averaged 10.6 points, four rebounds and eight assists per game. He was ranked 3rd in the NBA in steals when he was hurt last season.
Meantime, the Timberwolves were beaten last night in Los Angeles by the Clippers, who fielded their own key player returning from injury.
Chauncey Billups, now in his 16th NBA season, gave the Clippers the spark they needed to beat Minnesota 101-95. The Clippers outscored Minnesota 49-44 while he was on the floor.
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