After missing 42 games, Rubio expected to play Monday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio is expected to return to action Monday at Dallas.
Coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders told reporters before Saturday's home game against Cleveland that three different specialists have checked out Rubio's severely-sprained left ankle. All three have cleared him to play "if things are OK Monday," Saunders said.
"They have OK'd him to be able to play on a limited time basis," Saunders said. "We will have to wait until Monday pretty much comes."
Rubio rolled his ankle Nov. 7 at Orlando and has missed Minnesota's 42 games (including Saturday's) since then. He's been practicing for a couple weeks and done a lot of work on his much-scrutinized jump shot, Saunders said.
Although the injury has helped derail the Wolves' season, Saunders said it could end up being "a blessing in disguise."
"His shot has almost been remade," Saunders said of Rubio, a passing and defensive wizard with a 37-percent career field-goal clip. "We might look back in a year and say maybe the best thing that ever happened was having those three months off where he was able to really break down his shot and work on his shot and become a consistent shooter."
At the moment, Minnesota remains severely short-handed at Rubio's position. Rookie Zach LaVine (sprained left ankle) and veteran Mo Williams (hip soreness) both missed Friday's game, leaving recent 10-day signee Lorenzo Brown as the team's only active point guard.
Brown made his first career start Saturday.
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