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Rubio has missed 24 games with a severely sprained left ankle he suffered on Nov. 7 at Orlando. He took part in three-quarter speed running exercises and shooting drills on the floor at Oracle Arena prior to the T'wolves' game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. If an upcoming MRI shows his ankle is healing according to schedule, he could participate in contract drills next week.
"I am trying to do my best," Rubio said. "Sometimes it is a little bit painful. I got to get through that. Some things are mentally [challenging]. I just push myself and try to come back as soon as a I can."
For now, Rubio has had trouble stopping and starting and changing direction when running.
Minnesota is currently without three starters in Rubio, guard Kevin Martin (wrist) and center Nikola Pekovic (foot, wrist) because of injuries. The T'wolves are starting rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.
"It's painful seeing them struggling some games," said Rubio, who averaged 9.4 points, 10 assists and 5.6 rebounds in five games this season. "But we're young. …We didn't know that three of our best players would go down. It's hard when 20-, 19-year-old kids have to take 40 minutes a game.
"It's a process. They have to learn. Being a rookie is hard. Being a rookie playing 40 minutes a game is even harder. It's tough to adapt to the league."
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