Injured Cavs Player Ricky Rubio Wants a “Strong Season, Not Just a Comeback Season”

What happened to Ricky Rubio? The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard has been working his way back from a season-ending injury for more than a year.

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Feb. 6 2023, Published 5:55 p.m. ET

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be down a point guard when the team faces off against the the Washington Wizards on Monday, Feb. 6. So, what happened to Ricky Rubio?

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Turns out, the NBA star is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained in December 2021. And his current downtime comes less than a month after his triumphant return to the court…

What happened to Ricky Rubio?

In a game against the New Orleans Pelicans in December 2021, Ricky’s knee gave out with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the athlete collapsed to the floor in distress, as NBA.com reported. Cavaliers teammates Isaac Okoro and Kevin Love helped Ricky to the locker room. The following day, the Cavs tweeted that an MRI scan revealed Ricky had a torn anterior cruciate ligament (AACL) in his left knee and would have to miss the rest of the 2021–2022 NBA season.

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The next February, as the Spanish b-baller recovered from his injury, the Cavs traded him to the Indiana Pacers, but he never appeared in a game for that team. And in July 2022, Ricky signed a three-year, $18 million deal to come back to the Cavs, per ESPN.

“When you think about the impact Ricky had on our team last season, his addition became a priority to bring back to Cleveland,” Toby Altman, the Cavaliers’ president of basketball operations, said upon Ricky’s return, per NBA.com. Toby also called Ricky a “high character” teammate who would “bring the right balance of seasoned experience and depth to our emerging young core.”

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The injury update is that Ricky Rubio is sitting out to manage his ACL recovery.

The NBA’s Feb. 6 injury report reveals that Ricky is out of the Cavaliers’ Feb. 6 game because of “injury management” in his left knee ACL recovery. (Also out of the game are Cavs forward Isaiah Mobley, who’s on a two-way contract with the NBA G League’s Cleveland Charge, and the team’s guard/forward Dylan Windler, who’s nursing a right ankle sprain.)

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Ricky played his first game in 380 days on Jan. 12, aiding Cavs as the team beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119–113. “It felt good,” Ricky said of the comeback game, per ESPN. “It felt weird in the beginning, especially the first time, but after that it felt back to normal. Of course, rhythm and all that stuff will come, but today was a lot of emotions out there. Working hard all year just to be healthy and grateful to be out there playing basketball again.”

Since then, Ricky has participated in 11 out of 13 games, averaging 5.7 points, 3.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 16.2 minutes per game, as his ESPN profile recaps.

Now the 32-year-old is focusing on performing even better than he did pre-injury. “I didn’t work just to come back today,” Ricky said on Jan. 12. “I worked hard to come back stronger than ever. It’s not just about today. I’m looking forward to having a strong season, not just a comeback season.”

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