According to Larry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, Ricky Rubio has been lost for the season following an MRI that confirmed a torn ACL. The injury occurred in the closing seconds of a 105-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at the Target Center.
Rubio was hyped for years after being selected fifth overall in the 2009 NBA entry draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was living up to the hype in his long-awaited rookie season. He was in the Rookie of the Year discussion, averaging 10.6 PPG, 8.2 APG and 2.2 SPG.
The Timberwolves have played themselves into playoff contention with a record of 21-20 following back-to-back 17-win campaigns. The bulk of the point guard responsibilities will fall back upon Luke Ridnour, who had been getting most of his minutes at the shooting guard position lately. The Wolves will also be banking on oft-injured guard JJ Barea to play extended minutes in Rubio's absence.
Minnesota is still in an excellent position to make a run at the playoffs. Kevin Love returns to the lineup tonight after being held out of the Lakers game Friday night due to back spasms.
The schedule-makers also give the Timberwolves a little break tonight with the (9-31) New Orleans Hornets coming to the Twin Cities in a Western Conference battle.