Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has a right elbow injury. This took place in Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
In the fourth quarter, with 6:57 left in the game, Sacramento rotated the ball to the right-hand side of the court. Center Kosta Koufos handed the ball to Ben McLemore and he immediately released his shot from behind the 3-point line. Kofus went to the paint to put himself in position for a rebound. However, Rubio stood in front of him at the key.
Once the ball bounced off the rim, Koufus pushed Rubio to the ground where he braced his fall by locking his elbows. The force of the fall was the cause of the injury.
After getting up, Ricky Rubio put his hand on his right elbow in obvious pain. He immediately went into the locker room. He did not return to the game after evaluation.
Rubio then went through re-evaluation on Sunday and underwent an MRI earlier today by team orthopedic surgeon Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic which was in confirmation of the initial diagnosis of a right elbow sprain. Rubio is out indefinitely and his status will be updated as appropriate.
The right elbow is his shooting arm so they will take extra precautions to get him healthy. More than likely the Timberwolves will have to play their three games this week.
Minnesota (1-2) was able to fill Rubio’s spot reasonably well as they won tonight over the Memphis Grizzlies (2-2) 116-80.
Kris Dunn will be the new starter, while Tyus Jones will fill out the rotation. Dunn is averaging 6.0 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 triples in 17.5 minutes.
Prior to tonight’s game, Dunn projected his confidence even though the team will rely on him in their home opener.
“I feel I’ve been getting good minutes,” he said. “I’ve been playing in some tough situations the last two games. And that’s the type of games I like to play in. So Ricky, if he doesn’t have the chance to play tomorrow night, or any other games, I’ll have to step up and be ready.”
Dunn put in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies and put up 10-points while shooting 43 percent (3/7) from the field and 66 percent from beyond the arc (2/3) adding five steals, six assists, and three turnovers.
Jones put in 18 minutes and scored just two points but had six assists and with one steal and one turnover.
For Rubio, this is another situation he will have to work himself back to healthy. His career has list full numerous injuries. At this time, there is no need for surgery, which means he could be back anywhere from two-four weeks according to Dr. Parekh.
Until Rubio does return, the Timberwolves will turn to Dunn, a move that was bound to happen at some point in the season. Depending on how well Dunn does play, he may never relinquish his starting spot, making the veteran expendable.
Rubio, 26, was averaging 4.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds so far this season.
The Doc’s Take: Timberwolves Ricky Rubio w/elbow sprain. 2-4wks depending on which ligament is involved