Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 3/23/12

Ever since Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio went down with a season-ending torn left ACL, the Wolves haven't been the same and are struggling of late.

The Wolves are 4-6 in their last 10 games, out of the Western Conference playoff picture after a grand start to the season where the playoffs were within reach, and there was the much talked about spat between teammates J.J. Barea and Kevin Love. Clearly, there is frustration about in Timberwolves-land.

And if Minnesota fans need any more reason to pull their hair out comes this bit of news regarding the sensational rookie.

During his recent surgery to repair his torn ligament, it was discovered his LCL also was torn and needed repair.

The team initially announced that Rubio tore the ACL when his left knee buckled while trying to defend Kobe Bryant. But after the surgery, the team also announced that the rookie from Spain needed his LCL reconstructed as well.

Though the extent of Rubio's LCL injury wasn't disclosed, an LCL (lateral collateral ligament) injury is an injury to the ligament on the outer side of the knee. It can be a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament.

As if Minnesota fans needed more bad news huh?

The bad news is there is no way Rubio comes back to the court this season and pull a "Willis Reed" type comeback, Wolves fans will have to wait yet again for Rubio after a long wait for him to make the leap to the NBA but the good news is next season he should be raring to go. Also, it is good this injury was discovered now, rather than later, and thus jeopardize his NBA playing career.

However, it is plain to see how much Rubio's loss has been to the team (via nba.com).

And it's not just offensively. Rubio played solid perimeter defense, and showed a knack for stealing the ball (ranked third in the NBA at 2.2 steals per game).

But keep your chin up Minnesota fans, the season may be lost but with another high NBA draft pick, Rubio back at full strength, and Love continuing to improve, there is no doubt the Timberwolves will be one of the premier teams in the NBA.

Unless David Kahn screws it all up.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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