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Ricky Rubio injury: Timberwolves guard cleared for contact

Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio has been fully cleared to begin practicing with the team following a serious knee injury.

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

With his 2012-13 regular season debut on the horizon, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio was fully cleared for contact on Wednesday, according to Ken Berger of

The 22-year-old Rubio last played in a game on March 9 before tearing his ACL late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers. He posted nightly averages of 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds before the season-ending injury, and was firmly in the mix for the Rookie of the Year award along with eventual winner Kyrie Irving.

Despite shooting a meager 25.9% from the field in seven games following the All-Star break, Rubio's passing ability and court vision helped to breathe new life into the Timberwolves' offense in the first-half of last season. Minnesota is currently off to a 6-7 start this year with the trio of Alexey Shved, Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea running the offense, and Rubio's likely earlier than anticipated return looks like it will be exactly what the Timberwolves need to start playing better than .500 ball.