It looked like just two knees colliding when it happened, but it appears something much more serious may have happened to Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio.
With 16.4 seconds left in the game against the Lakers Friday night — and the Timberwolves up one —Rubio ran over to trap Kobe Bryant when the Lakers’ closer got the ball on the left wing. As Rubio arrived Kobe tried to drive to his right around Rubio, who tried to plant his left foot — but it slipped three or four inches. Kobe and Rubio’s knees collided and Rubio was called for the foul.
Rubio instantly fell to the floor grabbing his left knee, had to be carried off the court and did not return. (Kobe sank the two free throws to give the Lakers the win.) Now comes this report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Minnesota Timberwolves rookie point guard Ricky Rubio will have an MRI on his left knee Saturday morning amid fears he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
“Possible ACL,” the source briefed on Rubio’s condition said. “We’ll know more after the MRI. … There’s a lot of worry right now.”
A torn ACL would end his season.
Sometimes the initial reports are wrong. Let’s hope they are wrong here.
Rubio has had a fantastic rookie season, averaging 10.5 points, 8.2 assists per game. He has a PER of 14.9 and is a key reason the Timberwolves are in the playoff hunt. We had heard so much about him before he got to the United States, we had seen the YouTube clips of the Spanish phenom, but he has lived up to the hype and shown off a fantastic court vision. Without him Minny could be in trouble (and talk of trading Luke Ridnour would be ended).
Check back with PBT on Saturday, we will update you on his condition.