Ricky Rubio won't return until January

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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.

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