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Rubio: Knee feels good after 1st practice

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Rubio: Knee feels good after 1st practice

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) At one point in his first real practice in nine months, Ricky Rubio zipped a pass through defender Josh Howard's legs to an open teammate.

It may take some time for his surgically repaired left knee to get back up to speed. The instincts and court vision that made him such a crucial part of the resurgent Minnesota Timberwolves haven't gone anywhere as far as Rick Adelman is concerned.

Rubio practiced on Sunday for the first time this season and said his knee responded well. There is still no timetable for his first game, and Rubio is trying to be patient to make sure that he is completely ready when he does return after the first major injury of his career.

``After a long time, I'm on the court again,'' Rubio said. ``It felt pretty good to start knowing my teammates again.''

The Timberwolves have been banged up all season and Kevin Love (illness), Malcom Lee (groin) and Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) all missed practice on Sunday. Getting Rubio back sometime soon would be a huge lift to a team that has managed to hang around .500 even with all the absences.

Rubio participated in five-on-five work in practice on Sunday, then stayed after for nearly an hour to do some more running and catch-and-shoot work as he tries to get his legs back underneath him. He said he felt some discomfort in the knee on occasion, but team trainers expected that as some scar tissue from the surgery breaks up.

``It will feel weird for a while. Until I'm feeling great and nothing at all about my knee, I'm not going to play,'' he said. ``Actually, I'm happy about today.''

The mental recovery may be nearly as important as the physical for Rubio. He said he wants to get to the point where he's not wondering what will happen every time he makes a cut or plants on it on a drive to the basket. That will just take some time, and he knows it.

``I felt pretty good, but I want to be perfect,'' Rubio said. ``I have to work hard. I have to keep working and see where I'm at.''

The Timberwolves will practice again Monday before a back-to-back at Philadelphia and Boston starting on Tuesday. It would seem to be asking a lot for Rubio to return that quickly. The Wolves are off Thursday and then host Cleveland on Friday night, but it's still far too soon to predict when he will play.

A big indicator could be how his body responds on Monday to the strenuous workout. Adelman said it was already clear that Rubio still has a good handle on the offense and his responsibilities running the show.

``That's there. He showed that today,'' Adelman said. ``He passed the ball very well, got to spots. That's always going to be there. It's just going to be his conditioning and his legs and how long can he go? That's going to be the biggest thing.''

And it didn't hurt to see a few of those flashy passes he's known for, either.

``Today we didn't have any alley-oops,'' Rubio said, with a smile. ``But I hope soon we have some of those.''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APkrawczynski

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Orioles pitcher Ty Blach to have Tommy John surgery, Richie Martin to have wrist surgery

Orioles pitcher Ty Blach to have Tommy John surgery, Richie Martin to have wrist surgery

The Orioles were bitten by the injury bug early in camp, as they lost both pitcher Ty Blach and infielder Richie Martin for the season. 

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde confirmed Monday that Blach will have Tommy John surgery and Martin will have wrist surgery, which will sideline him for two to three months.

“Richie and Ty Blach, they’re both having surgery on Wednesday,” Hyde said on a conference call Monday afternoon. “Richie on his right wrist. Ty Blach is having Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.”

Blach, a left-handed pitcher, made his major league debut in 2016 as a member of the Giants. 

Last season in Baltimore, the 29-year-old threw in five games (all starts). He contributed 20 ⅔ innings pitched, posted a WHIP of 2.177 and an ERA of 11.32. He allowed 32 hits and six home runs with 17 strikeouts.

Recovery time for Tommy John Surgery is typically longer than a year, meaning Blach will be sidelined for this season as well as the majority — if not all — of next season.

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‘I just talked to Ty, and it’s awful for both of them,” Hyde said. “I felt really badly. Ty put himself in a really nice position, he’s been working really hard these last three months and he’s never been on the IL before in his career. To just feel something wrong in the second inning of an intersquad and it turns out to be Tommy John surgery, your heart goes out to him for the work he’s put in.”

Martin will likely miss the entire 2020 season, with his recovery expected to be two-to-three months. The regular season ends on Sept. 27.

Martin, 25, slashed .208/.260/.322 with 59 hits in 120 games last year for the Orioles. He made 89 starts at shortstop and posted a fielding percentage of .971. 

In 11 games of spring training this year, he slashed .286/.333/.536 with eight hits in 30 plate appearances. He also had seven RBIs.

“I loved the swing adjustments he was making,” Hyde said. “I just like the way Richie plays. He plays with energy, he comes to play every day, he’s an ultra-pro and it’s going to be tough not to have him.”

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Washington Mystics release revised 2020 schedule, open July 25 vs. Indiana Fever

Washington Mystics release revised 2020 schedule, open July 25 vs. Indiana Fever

The Washington Mystics are officially 12 days away from beginning their title-defending shortened season in Florida.

The WNBA released its updated 2020 schedule where each team will travel to Bradenton, Fla. to play a condensed 22-game season at IMG Academy spanning from July 25 to Sept. 12. 

The Mystics will open their year with the Indiana Fever and conclude the regular season with the New York Liberty.

Their schedule features eight nationally televised games on CBS Sports Network, ESPN and ESPN2. The Mystics will return to the national spotlight on July 25 against Indiana (CBSSN), July 30 against Seattle (ESPN), Aug. 7 against New York (ESPN2), Aug. 13 against Los Angeles (ESPN2), Aug. 19 against Atlanta (CBSSN), Aug. 28 against Phoenix (CBSSN), Sept. 2 against Seattle (CBSSN) and Sept. 10 against Connecticut (CBSSN).

The reigning WNBA champions will kick off their season on Saturday, July 25th at 5:00 p.m. against Indiana.

For the Mystics’ full 2020 schedule, click here.

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