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Ricky Rubio progressing well but likely out until December

Sky Lynx Basketball

Minnesota Timberwolves NBA basketball player Ricky Rubio watches during the second half of a WNBA exhibition basketball game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Kyndell Harkness) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

AP

Derrick Rose wasn’t the only point guard to have a devastating knee injury last year, but Ricky Rubio doesn’t have an entire marketing campaign based around his return.

But like Rose, his team’s playoff goals hinge on his return.

And like Rose, Rubio has been working out to return and appears to be ahead of schedule. He had surgery in March and recovery normally takes close to a year, but Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press you should be thinking Christmas.

“The doctors said he was progressing faster than normal, and normal was supposed to be in January,” Taylor said Tuesday, Aug. 14, a day before heading to China on a two-week charity mission. “Faster than normal would be December. He’s going to start running and stuff in a few weeks.”

Minnesota will try to find a backcourt rotation until Rubio returns with Luke Ridnour, the returning from injury Brandon Roy and just signed Alexey Shved, who looked good in the Olympics but is an NBA rookie who will have to earn his run. Rick Adelman will play around with rotations in the preseason and see what he’s got, but things should be a lot more settled once Rubio returns and can start to play regular minutes.

The Timberwolves are a borderline playoff team, with Rubio directing the show at full health I would say they are in, but with him missing the first couple of months then trying to jump back in the fray it is going to be tight. They need big seasons from Kevin Love and guys like Roy and Andrei Kirilenko to make it a reality.