Ricky Rubio Injury: Torn ACL Forces Timberwolves Rookie To Miss 2012 Olympics
As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Rubio's recovery process will sideline him for the London Games. The Minnesota rookie plays a vital role for the Spanish squad, which is considered Team USA's top rival.
Trailing Rubio's Timberwolves by one with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, Kobe Bryant got the ball beyond the 3-point line right in front of the Timberwolves' bench. Rubio ran over to try and trap him with teammate Martell Webster, but his knee buckled as he collided with Bryant, who made a move to try and get around the double-team. A foul was called on Rubio, who immediately grabbed his knee and was carried to the bench by his teammates.
Not only has Rubio helped push the Timberwolves into playoff contention -- they are currently a half game behind Houston for the No. 8 seed in the West -- but he had already started some trash talk for the London Games.
Back in January when the T-Wolves played Kobe and the Lakers, Rubio told the five-time NBA champion that Team USA would not come out on top as they did in 2008.
"You know you're getting the silver medal. You know that," Rubio said.
For now, however, Rubio's Olympics teammate Pau Gasol doesn't believe it's appropriate to think about the Olympics right now.
"Right now is the time for him to just be as positive as possible and go through the surgery, pick the doctor that the team and he decide is the best for his knee and go from there, take it one day at a time," he told ESPN. "Just be really patient and think about his health and his future. Forget about the Olympics right now. That's secondary."
Gasol also expressed his support for his fellow Spaniard, and he wasn't the only NBA player to do so.