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Mark Remme of Timberwolves.com tweeted this afternoon a photo of Ricky Rubio running during the Wolves’ practice.

Screen Shot 2012-10-03 at 2.04.48 PM

With Ricky running now and eventually starting up some light basketball drills, we should be able to find out just how realistic our dreams of a late December return as a Christmas present to us really is.

We’re all wondering when Ricky Rubio will be back for the Timberwolves to throw inspirational bounce passes back into our collective hearts.

It’s pretty improbable that he’d be back for the start of the regular season, considering he hasn’t started doing many exercises with heavy impact (i.e. – running and basketball related workouts/drills). That would have put him just under eight months from the injury in a rehabilitation window that usually spans anywhere from six to twelve months.

Charley Walters recently talked to Glen Taylor about Ricky’s recover and Taylor had this to say (via ProBasketballTalk):

“The doctors said he was progressing faster than normal, and normal was supposed to be in January,” Taylor said Tuesday, Aug. 14, a day before heading to China on a two-week charity mission. “Faster than normal would be December. He’s going to start running and stuff in a few weeks.”

I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again. Just about everybody with a knee injury as severe as this one is ahead of schedule before they do impact exercises. When those begin, we start to see just what the actual schedule for returning to the court is. But that doesn’t mean Ricky won’t be back before the new year is born.

My guess on the schedule would be December 20th for his 2012-13 debut. That’s the first big time nationally televised game for the Wolves, when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Target Center on TNT. It’s late enough into December to be a realistic return date, and would generate an immense amount of buzz for the team and the telecast.

Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. Perhaps he’ll be back sooner or maybe they’ll be cautious with him and keep him out until January. I know there seems to be a lot of pressure to win now and make the playoffs this year, but I’d rather see him fully recovered and continue to be handled in a responsible manner over rushing him back to the court to feel better about the Wolves chances this season.

Until then, we have the YouTube machine:

Ricky Rubio is down but definitely not out.

Here he is working on his… well… let’s say set shot. Andre Miller would be proud.

(H/T – @RussoDefender)

By the way, I love so much that Pump Up The Jam is what they’re listening to.