Minnesota had already shut down Ricky Rubio for the season. Rubio injured his ankle back on Nov. 7 and, while he made a brief comeback, it has not been right, and he had not played much like the Rubio everyone expected. So a few weeks back coach/GM Flip Saunders made the obvious official and ended his season.
Now comes the next step: Surgery to clean up that ankle. Here’s the official Flip Saunders quote via the Timberwolves official press release.
“We have closely monitored the status of Ricky’s ankle injury during the rehabilitation process. Ricky recently experienced ongoing soreness in his left ankle and it became apparent that it was not responding according to its anticipated timeline for recovery. As part of this process we sought numerous opinions as to the best course of action. Ricky was most recently seen by Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles and it was concluded that the best option would be to pursue diagnostic arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.
At the time of his initial injury we stated the importance of Ricky’s long-term health. He is an integral part of our future and we are taking every precaution to ensure that he will be able to perform to the best of his ability next season.”
The surgery is just a “minor cleanup” reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports. As Rubio is just finishing the first year of a new four-year contract extension, thinking about the long term and getting him right for next season isn’t just the smart play, it’s the only play. Rubio played in just 22 games this season, averaging 10.3 points and 8.8 assists per game. He remains a fantastic playmaker and shooter with a wonky shot.
Rubio recently suggested he is going to take the summer off from the Spanish national team. After this surgery, one would hope so.