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Cavaliers will not rush Ricky Rubio back, no return date set

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Cavaliers will not rush Ricky Rubio back from injury, no return date set
USA Today Network

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio tore his left ACL last December, and the team will not rush the 32-year-old back from his injury. Since the Cavaliers are 13-8 and rank third in the Eastern Conference this season, they’re in no hurry.

“We have not put a specific date, but he is continuing to take steps,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said prior to Monday’s 100-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

According to some NBA betting sites, the Cavaliers have the sixth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks show higher odds for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the East.

“He has a doctor’s appointment coming up soon to see how everything is healing and where he is at from that standpoint,” added Bickerstaff.

Rubio could work up to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 activities at team practices. Though, he first has to receive clearance from the medical staff. When he’s ready, Bickerstaff wants the 11-year veteran to participate in contact practices.

Cavaliers will wait for Ricky Rubio to recover from ACL injury, no return date has been established

Last season, in 34 appearances, the Cavaliers guard averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He also shot 36.3% from the field and 33.9% outside the arc. Rubio amassed five double-doubles prior to his ACL injury.

In February, the Cavaliers traded Rubio, a 2022 first-round draft pick, a 2022 second-round draft pick, and a 2027 second-round draft pick to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert and a 2022 second-round draft pick.

During the offseason, Rubio returned to Cleveland on a three-year, $18 million contract. He is making $5,853,659 this season and will earn $6,146,342 in the 2023-24 season. His $6,439,025 salary for the 2024-25 season is partially guaranteed.

“Everything is progressing well,” continued Bickerstaff. “Just a matter of proper healing and time before he comes back and plays.” It will take time for the former Minnesota Timberwolves star to play at full strength.

On Nov. 7, 2021, in the Cavaliers’ 126-109 win over the New York Knicks, the guard scored a season-high 37 points in 32 minutes played. He finished 13-of-19 (68.4%) shooting from the floor and 8-of-9 (88.9%) from downtown.

When healthy, the NBA veteran should help bolster Cleveland’s backcourt. They already have enough support in Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and LeVert. Adding Rubio into the mix will make things interesting.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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