Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio returned to practice Monday and is expected to play on Tuesday when the Wolves host Orlando at Target Center.
Rubio has missed the last couple of games after tweaking his left ankle – the same ankle he had surgery on in the offseason.
The Star Tribune reports Rubio was not happy about missing those games, but Timberwolves vice president of sports performance Arne Kander didn't let him play because he didn't feel the 25-year-old point guard was close enough to 100 percent.
Injuries have been a big part of Rubio's career. He has missed significant portions of every season in his NBA career except for one – 2013-14, when he played in every game.
But Rubio's importance to the Wolves on the floor is undeniable. Minnesota is 93-120 in games when Rubio plays, but just 28-88 when he doesn't.
Rubio, who rarely grants extended interviews, sat down with MinnPost where he addressed the injuries and a number of other topics.
"We'll never know. I don't like to go back in the past and thinking about what should or could have happened if I didn't get hurt – blah, blah, blah. I did get hurt, and things happen for a reason. I will learn. I have already gotten stronger in my mind and I think I am really in shape more. I am being healthy now, being able to be out there playing and enjoying the game. When you are young you take everything for granted, like to be 100 percent for every game, and it is not true. There are a few games you are healthy and some where you are 100 percent all season, and then there are ones where you are not."
The good news for the Wolves, who are 8-8 this season, is that Tuesday night when they host Orlando, Rubio should be close enough to 100 percent to be back on the floor.