Adelman Talks Rubio After Sunday's Practice

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Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Each day following Timberwolves practice Ricky Rubio gets to work. Some days he’s working on conditioning, others he’s taking shots over and over again. As he continues to recover from season-ending ACL surgery last March, Rubio keeps adding a little bit more to his routine.

On Sunday, coach Rick Adelman said Rubio participated in 5-on-0 walkthroughs along with forward Kevin Love, who is also working toward his return after suffering a broken right hand this preseason. Rubio has been increasing the way in which he puts up shots, beginning with stationary free-throw like attempts, then moving to light jumpers and now adding a little movement. On Sunday from an Xs and Os standpoint, he participated in a more structured 5-on-0 setting.

Adelman said even having Rubio and Love participating in light routines like that is important for the team, and it gives their teammates a sense for the type of squad this group could be when at full strength.

Adelman said there were no new updates on Rubio’s return date. His target throughout the process has been December.

Each day, Rubio is showing that he’s valuable not only as a gifted passer and court surveyor but also from a mental standpoint. He’s been giving rookie Alexey Shved advice throughout the season and is making good on his comments in preseason about being an assistant coach-like figure while he recovers.

“Ricky’s so smart. He knew everything, every play we had and he knew where everybody should be,” Adelman said. “That’s just who he is. The more we get them on the court, even if it’s five-on-none and do shooting, it’s good for the team.”

Adelman said both Rubio and the team need to be cautious of expectations as he returns. He said it’s important to remember he’s coming off a serious injury, and he will have ups and downs in his return. Some days he’ll battle physical fatigue. But Rubio proved last year during his rookie season that even during tough times he’s able to persevere.

“He’s just the type of young man that’s going to get through it,” Adelman said. “He’s just going to have to have some patience himself. But you saw last year when he had tough games, it never stayed with him very long. But this time it’s going to be more physical. His legs will be dead some days. We’ll just have to see how it goes. But you have to have faith in him, the type of person he is.”

Adelman said in the meantime he’s making an impact by working with players like Shved.

“He’s a really intelligent player, and he sees everything and he’s willing,” Adelman said. “He’s willing to talk to guys and help them out.”

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