Wolves’ Rubio out for season with torn ACL

by Charlie Armitz

Timberwolves rookie sensation Ricky Rubio will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season after tearing his left ACL late in Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN and several other sites.

Rubio collided with the Lakers' Kobe Bryant with 16.4 seconds left and did not return. Bryant made two free throws and Los Angeles held on for a 105-102 win.

Rubio had averaged 10.6 points while leading all rookies in assists per game (8.2) and steals (2.22) in 2011-12. His flashy passes and unique court awareness had brought fans to the Target Center in droves for the first time since the Kevin Garnett era.

With a 21-20 record, Minnesota currently sits a half-game out of eighth place in the Western Conference with 25 games to play. Finishing eighth or better would earn the Timberwolves their first playoff appearance since the 2003-04 season, when they had the West's No. 1 seed.