Remember a few weeks ago when we wrote about Ricky Rubio possibly returning from a sprained ankle in time to play in front of family and friends around Christmas? Yeah, that's not going to happen.
Timberwolves (4-13) head coach Flip Saunders, according to beat writer Andy Greder, won't return until sometime in January.
Rubio suffered a severely sprained left ankle when he rolled his foot in an early November game against the Orlando Magic. Minnesota was 2-2 before they lost Rubio; they've won just two games since while losing 11.
Pro Basketball Talk notes that Minnesota has struggled to find a replacement for Rubio. Mo Williams, who may not play Friday against the Rockets because of a back issue, and rookie Zach LaVine haven't provided the passing and defense that Rubio does.
Note: The Pioneer Press reports Shabazz Muhammad has an ankle injury and his status for Friday's game against the Rockets is in doubt.