Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio will have surgery on his left ankle, the team announced Saturday.
Rubio has been limited to 22 games this season and said earlier this week he preferred to rehabilitate his ailing ankle instead of opting for surgery. Rubio suffered a severe ankle sprain Nov. 7 against the Orlando Magic and last played March 18 against the Toronto Raptors.
Rubio's surgery is considered a "minor cleanup," and while the 24-year-old guard is expected to be ready for Minnesota's training camp next season, it is "highly unlikely" he will play for Spain during this summer's European championships, reports Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears.
[daily_cut.nba]The Timberwolves said Rubio "recently experienced ongoing soreness in his left ankle," prompting him to visit Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles. The best option was then determined to be diagnostic arthroscopic surgery on the ankle, which Dr. Ferkel will perform in Van Nuys, Calif., on Monday.
"At the time of his initial injury we stated the importance of Ricky’s long-term health," said Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Flip Saunders in a release. "He is an integral part of our future and we are taking every precaution to ensure that he will be able to perform to the best of his ability next season. This decision was one that was reached between Ricky, his representatives, the Timberwolves organization and the foremost practitioners in this field of orthopedics."
In his 22 games this season, Rubio averaged 10.3 points, 8.8 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals over 31.5 minutes. Rubio appeared in all 82 games for the Timberwolves last season, but has appeared in only 202 games over his four-year career.
- Mike Fiammetta