Ricky Rubio likely to return on Saturday for Timberwolves

Rubio is a major part of the Timberwolves team, but they haven't been terrible with him out due to injury

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the NBA teams hardest hit by injuries early on this season, not having Ricky Rubio at all, missing half their games from Kevin Love, and even more absences due to injury present themselves as you scroll down coach Rick Adelman's roster.

Surprisingly, their injury woes have not hurt them much in the standings so far, and they are to get some good news on the injury situation very soon.

It appears that Rubio, Minnesota's stud young point guard, will be able to play his first game of the season this Saturday in New Orleans against the Pelicans Hornets.

The Spaniard has been out of commission since gruesomely tearing both his MCL and ACL March 9 last season. The injury caused him to miss all of the Summer Olympics in London and the T-Wolves' first 19 games of the year. As of Thursday night (before they play the Mavericks later tonight), the T-Wolves are hanging in there with a 10-9 record, good enough for the 7th seed in the brutally tough Western Conference.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/ZimbioThings were looking much better for Minnesota after the first seven games of the season, in which the team jumped out to a quick 5-2 start. A five-game losing skid followed, plummeting the Wolves below .500 and in desperate need of some healthy bodies. They have been up-and-down since, yet able to climb back over that .500 barrier which will be a close indicator of whether of not they will be in contention in the West this year.

As is always the case when team's star player return from extended absences (be it injury- or suspension-related), it will be interesting to see how the T-Wolves fare with the inevitable roster shake-up that will ensue on Saturday night.

The trio of Luke Ridnour, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea have been able to hold the fort to a certain extent but clearly do not have the play-making ability that Rubio brings to the table. Most likely, it will take Rubio and his teammates a few games to get accustomed to the new rotation.

But with his skill, that uneasy period won't be long. With Love and Rubio (soon-to-be) firmly entrenched in their spots in the Minnesota starting five, the T-Wolves will resume being the darkhorse contender so many thought they would be this year.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18