The Minnesota Timberwolves suffered a huge loss on Saturday afternoon when it was deemed the Ricky Rubio injury that occurred during Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was indeed a torn ACL. It was everyone's worst fear as it effectively ends Rubio's NBA season ... and likely the possibility of him playing for Spain in the 2012 London Olympics, too.
Rubio's rookie season in the NBA ended with the 21-year-old Spaniard averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game while exceeding the expectations of those who thought his transition to the American-style of basketball might take some time. Those numbers are certainly impressive, especially for a rookie, and will be very difficult to replace.
Unfortunately it seems that the state of Minnesota might be snake-bitten, at least as of late, when it comes to season-ending injuries regarding their best players.
Al Jefferson suffered the same injury when he was the centerpiece of the Wolves in 2009, Adrian Peterson ripped his knee to shreds late in the Minnesota Vikings season, Minnesota Twins standouts Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been dealing with the effects of injuries for the past couple of seasons and Trevor Mbakwe's torn ACL in November leaves everyone wondering what the Minnesota Golden Gophers might have been this season.
Those are all major players on Minnesota's top teams, of course, but the Wolves in particular seem to be struck particularly hard each season when it comes to their young prospects being bit by the injury bug:
- 2005's first round pick, Rashad McCants, underwent microfracture knee surgery that kept him out of the lineup for quite some time.
- Randy Foye suffered a knee injury that was slow to heal, limiting him to just half of a season during his second year in the NBA.
- Corey Brewer suffered a torn ACL in his sophomore season, ending what looked like it could have been a strong second season with the Wolves.
- Kevin Love, of course, broke a bone in his right hand that caused him to miss a couple of months with an injury.
Hopefully this trend goes away as it's making it harder and harder to hold out hope for the state's top players.