Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams told Sports Headliners he saw Ricky Rubio’s left knee give out before the rookie point guard collided with the Lakers Kobe Bryant last week. With a torn ACL, Rubio might not play again for the Wolves until October or November, and Williams acknowledged that the compacted NBA schedule caused by the labor dispute is hard on young and still maturing bodies.
“I think there are a lot of injuries this year that are caused by that with the lockout thing,” said Williams, a rookie like Rubio. “ … More injuries are going to occur because there’s more games in less time. I am not going to say that’s the reason why it happened (the Rubio injury), because everything happens for a reason. You never know about that situation. It’s just one hard cut. It happens like that sometimes.”
Wolves assistant coach T.R. Dunn, a former NBA guard, said last weekend he’s confident the 21-year-old Rubio will make a “100 percent” recovery. “He’s a tough kid. He’s a smart kid. He’ll do everything possible to get back and to be even bigger and better next year.”
Dunn said Rubio, a slender 6-4, can use his rehab time and the years beyond 2012 to strengthen his body. “He’s just gonna get stronger and be better without compromising anything as far his quickness and flexibility,” Dunn said.
Rubio was a candidate for Rookie of the Year before he was injured. His playmaking had a major impact on the Wolves becoming a .500 team after years of struggling.
“You don’t have a ceiling on him,” Dunn said. “He’s a bright young star. It’s just his first season and he’s made tremendous strides. I just see a lot of good things for him.”