We won’t see him at the Olympics, either.
A source close to Rubio told SheridanHoops.com that tests performed Saturday morning showed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Rubio’s left knee. He was injured in a collision with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers late in Friday night’s loss.
“There are no other tears,” the source said of Rubio’s knee.
Rubio has averaged 10.5 points, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals for the Timberwolves, the most surprising team in the Western Conference.
The rookie from Spain was considered the co-leader in the running for Rookie of the Year honors, along with Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rubio’s injury means the Spanish national team will likely use Juan Carlos Navarro at the backup point guard behind Jose Calderon in the Olympics.
Not that it will be anything new.
With Rubio struggling at Eurobasket last summer in Lithuania, coach Serge Scariolo used Rubio for only 7 minutes in the gold medal game against France. Navarro ran the point and was named the tournament MVP.
I covered that tournament in September, and Rubio was not even a factor in looking ahead to Spain’s chances of defeating the United States in the 2012 London Games.
So yes, the loss of Rubio is devastating to the Timberwolves in the short term.
For Spain, it is a loss that won’t make much of a difference in London. As chronicled on this site by Barcelona-based correspondent Nick Gibson, Navarro is a very worthy option to anchor Spain’s backcourt.