|16 November 2012|
EUROPEANS IN THE NBA
|Rubio: "I cannot give a date [of return to action] because even I don't know it"|
Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio tore his ACL in March after knocking into Kobe Bryant in a Minnesota Timberwolves game at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He had started his rookie NBA season in great form, averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals up until that point.
Rubio underwent surgery soon after sustaining the injury and has been following a long rehabilitation process.
"I cannot give a date [of return to action] because even I don't know it," Rubio told Spanish daily Marca.
"There are some fixed deadlines [in the rehab process] and I am working to meet them.
While everyone in Minnesota - and in Spain - is eagerly awaiting to see the charismatic Rubio back on the court, both the club and the player are focused on him making a complete, rather than speedy, recovery.
"It's as if my knee is talking to me: There are days that it says the process has to slow down a bit and others that it says the contrary," is Rubio's way of explaining.
"It depends on how the knee feels. If it doesn't feel nothing I go on, but if it feels pain...
"It tells me if I'm ready or not. For now things are going all right, but we have to take it easy."
MISSING THE SUMMER IN RED AND WHITE
|Ricky Rubio missed playing for the Spanish national team in the 2012 summer|
The three-time FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year was not only forced to miss the second part of his rookie NBA season, but also the London Olympic Games, where Spain played in the final.
"It was such a pity," Rubio says.
"I don't want to think about it because it's something very sad.
"In any case, there will be more summers and more Olympic Games and I hope to continue with the national team, where the atmosphere is great and we have such a nice time every summer.
First on the list of these upcoming get-togethers with the national team is EuroBasket 2013 in September.
Will Rubio be available for 'La Roja' in the coming years or will he prefer to take summers off?
"I don't know, my health condition will decide. This summer, for example, I couldn't go because of my knee.
"If I don't go, knock on wood, I hope it's not because of injuries.
"From my part, I will always be available for my national team as long as my body lets me play."
The 22-year-old made his international début with Spain at the U16 European Championship in 2005, four months before turning 15.
He played for a Spanish team every summer until EuroBasket 2011, having joint the senior side at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Last summer was the first time since he was a child that he didn't suit up for the national team.
"When you are not there, you miss it, you notice there is something missing from your summer," Rubio admits.
"Although of course I have to be careful about my health and recover fully first."