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Timberwolves Lose Star Rookie Ricky Rubio to Torn ACL, Done for Year

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 29:  Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles away from a fallen Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Joshua MoeschlCorrespondent IIIMarch 10, 2012

Minnesota Timberwolves star point guard Ricky Rubio left Friday night's game after bumping knees with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Rubio went down hard, clutching his knee. It appeared he knocked knees with the Lakers star; it did not look like there was twisting of any kind. That said, the team is fearing the worst. 

If Rubio misses any significant time, the Wolves can forget about any legitimate chance of making the playoffs this year. 

Yahoo! Sports is reporting from a source that the team is very worried, and an MRI on Saturday will reveal the extent of the damage, but there is fear Rubio might have torn his ACL. The recovery involved with such a serious injury is significant, ranging from eight months to over a year.

This would be a huge blow to a team that was just finding its rhythm offensively. With backup point guard J.J. Barea sitting games out with injury, the Wolves would be in a terrible position if they lose Rubio now. 

Minnesota fans will be holding their breath on Saturday until we find out what damage has been done to Rubio's knee. The Wolves might find themselves in a position to obtain a point guard through a trade if the news on Rubio is bad. The hope is there is no ligament damage, but rather a bone bruise, or something similar. 

Rubio is a big part of Minnesota's new-found success, and if he is forced out of the lineup, Timberwolves fans can start looking forward to next season, as disappointing as that idea might be. 

UPDATE: According to the Star Tribune, Rubio did indeed tear his ACL in his left knee, and he will miss the remainder of the season. Reports also indicate he will miss the 2012 Olympics as well. What a huge blow to the Timberwolves.

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