Proceed with caution, but with plenty of excitement.

That will be the approach the Minnesota Timberwolves take with their Spain international point guard Ricky Rubio after he received a thumbs-up from doctors to take part in full-contact practices.

The Barcelona native was in the midst of a spectacular rookie campaign when on the 9th of March and in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he tore his ACL.

The injury knocked him out for the remainder of the lockout-shortened NBA season and also prevented him from making a second straight appearance at an Olympic Gameswith Spain.

The 22-year-old delivered a short but sweet message to the world after hearing the news.

“Life is good!” he tweeted.

Timberwolves president David Kahn understands that Rubio is coming off a very serious injury.

“He’ll be eased in,” he said on the club’s website.

“The likelihood is he’ll play his first game around 16-18 minutes and then from there the medical staff and Ricky will determine on a game-by-game basis what to do next.”

T-Wolves coach Rick Adelman says the team should get better at both ends of the floor once Rubio is back in the line-up, something that may not happen for a couple of weeks.

“We just have to have him practice for the next couple of weeks and see how he responds,” he said.

“We’ve missed him a lot.

“Once we lost him, we saw the impact he had on our group because of his leadership – and not just at the offensive end.

“He defended people better than most point guards.”

Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.22 steals per game before getting hurt.

Spain will be hoping that Rubio has a strong season and returns to the national squad for next year’s EuroBasket, and the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.


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