Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/10/12
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Rubio's exciting first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves has come to a premature, unfortunate end. The morning after Rubio was helped off the court Friday by teammates in the closing seconds of Minnesotas 105-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Jerry Zgoda is reporting that an MRI showed Rubio suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Rubio will miss not only the rest of his rookie season but also almost certainly the 2012 London Olympics, in which he was set to play for the Spanish national team. Rubio is averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game this season. Hes leading all rookies in minutes played, assists and steals and is fifth among first-year players in scoring. The 21-year-old is third in steals and fifth in assists among all NBA players.While Minnesota will certainly miss Rubio's playmaking abilities as it vies for it's first playoff berth since the 2003-04 season, the Wolves are fortunate to have depth at the position. Luke Ridnour can slide into the starting point guard role from the shooting guard spot, with J.J. Barea spelling him off the bench. Barea is currently nursing a sprained left ankle which kept him out of Fridays contest, but rookie Malcolm Lee recalled from the D-League on Friday after a rehab stint following left knee surgery could make his first Wolves appearance Saturday as Ridnour's backup if Barea remains unavailable.The injury could mean a return to the starting lineup for Michael Beasley if Wes Johnson slides back to shooting guard, or Martell Webster could join Ridnour in the starting backcourt.Rubio suffered his knee injury with 16.4 seconds left in Fridays game when attempting to cut off Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the perimeter. Rubio's left knee buckled before the two made contact, which resulted in a Rubio blocking foul. After lying on his back for several moments, Rubio had to be helped to the bench by teammates while not putting any weight on his left leg.Rubio did not speak to the media after the game but was later seen limping outside the Wolves locker room and putting only minimal weight on his leg.Former Minnesota center Al Jefferson suffered a season-ending ACL tear on Feb. 8, 2009, but returned to play all but six games the following season and was healthy in time for the opener. Former Wolves forward Corey Brewer suffered the same injury Nov. 29, 2008, and returned to play all 82 games the following season.
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