The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that point guard Ricky Rubio is out indefinitely with a sprained right elbow he suffered during Saturday’s loss on the road at Sacramento. His diagnosis was confirmed by a doctor, which then ruled Rubio out indefinitely. Minnesota will effectively turn the reins at point guard over to rookie Kris Dunn in his place.
Notorious for his aversion to shooting the basketball, the usually-hesitant Rubio has been even more so to begin the 2016-17 season. Through the front two games, he’s shot the ball just nine times, totaling nine points, despite exceeding 28 minutes in each contest. He’s fit the mold of a traditional, pass-first point guard since entering the league, as he averages 8.3 assists per game for his career and has dished out 13 in his first two games this season.
The injury to Rubio is a short-term concern for Minnesota, but they’ve done very little to hide that Dunn — the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft — is the team’s long-term solution at point guard. Minnesota has been unable to move Rubio to another club, leaving Dunn to serve as his back-up to begin the season.
A former fifth overall pick by the Timberwolves himself, Rubio has run the show in Minnesota for parts of the last five years. His career averages of 10.1 points and 8.3 assists per game have rarely deviated for any one season of his career, although he has played in all 82 games just once in his five NBA seasons.
With the announcement of an indefinite injury timetable, it seems highly unlike Rubio would appear in Tuesday night’s home opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.