Friday December 5th, 2014

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said Ricky Rubio probably won't return to action before January, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.

The 6-foot-4 point guard has not played since spraining his his left ankle during a Nov. 7 game against the Orlando Magic. The Timberwolves initially announced that Rubio was out indefinitely. Over five games this season, Rubio averaged 9.4 points, 10.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game while posting a 15.66 player efficiency rating. 

In November, Minnesota signed Rubio to a four-year contract extension reportedly worth $55 million. 

With Rubio out of the lineup, rookie Zach LaVine and veteran Mo Williams have received the bulk of minutes at point guard. The Timberwolves are also dealing with several other injured players.

DOLLINGER: No excuse for the Knicks' worst start in franchise history

Saunders reportedly indicated that shooting guard Kevin Martin, who underwent surgery to repair a wrist fracture, will not return in the near future. Over nine games, Martin led the team with 20.4 points per game. Meanwhile, big men Nikola Pekovic and Ronny Turiaf reportedly are expected to make quicker returns than both Rubio and Martin.

The Timberwolves have gone 2-10 in Rubio's absence and have the worst record (4-13) in the Western Conference. On Wednesday, Minnesota fell to the previously winless Philadelphia 76ers. The Timberwolves host the Houston Rockets (14-4) on Friday.

MAHONEY: Rockets, Raptors making do without their injured stars

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