MINNEAPOLIS — Timberwolves fans can breathe easy: Point guard Ricky Rubio will not be making his season debut on the road Friday in New Orleans.
It seems that owner Glen Taylor’s Wednesday statement that Saturday night’s game against Dallas is the target still holds, though there’s still no guarantee. Coach Rick Adelman said he isn’t sure whether Rubio will be traveling to New Orleans with the team, and we won’t know until they’re on the plane later Thursday whether he has stayed behind. If Rubio does remain in Minneapolis, it’ll be his first trip all season staying back, and he’d do so because of the greater ease of testing and evaluating his knee at home.
Adelman said that if Rubio were to play Saturday, the decision likely wouldn’t come until the morning. (Or, at least, it wouldn’t be announced publicly until then.) The coach said he’s still unsure on any minutes limitation — one hasn’t been discussed since Rubio was initially cleared — or on how much the point guard might play in his debut. It doesn’t seem like the team has come much closer to determining the best way to use Rubio, or if they have, no one is saying.
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Other than that, nothing new on the Rubio front.
Other injuries: Malcolm Lee did not practice Thursday after suffering a hyperextended right knee in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game. He’s listed as day-to-day and will not travel with the team to New Orleans. Josh Howard, who sat Wednesday with an illness, was limited in practice Thursday, and it sounded like the team as a whole didn’t do too much before it left for New Orleans.
Adelman said Alexey Shved is a likely starter at shooting guard in Lee’s place, and he also floated Howard’s name as an option.