Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio spoke after the Cavs’ playoff run about the difficulties of returning from an ACL tear and acknowledged he never really returned to 100% health, Akron Beacon Journal writer Ryan Lewis wrote in a Wednesday article.
“Physically, not really, but it has to be everything — physically, mentally, rhythm of the game — and I didn’t feel I got to [that] point,” Rubio said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “Coming in the middle of the season is super hard. Being out 12 months, it’s not easy, and I’m proud that I came back, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t reach what I wanted.”
The 32-year-old guard was first diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee following a 2021 matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. He scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, 11 on defense and dished nine assists as Cleveland took a 4-point loss at the Smoothie King Center.
Rubio eyed a return from injury during a January game against the Portland Trail Blazers. He garnered nine points, three rebounds and one assist as the Cavs took a 6-point victory over Portland, hitting two of his four 3-point shots and dumping off a pass to center Jarrett Allen on the pick-and-roll for a contested make against Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant.
Ricky Rubio would average 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his first four Cavs games of the season, playing in as many as 17 minutes in a 10-point win over the Pelicans at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in January. He finished the season with averages of 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest.
“Feeling weird,” Rubio said before a January loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been out there. I didn’t practice much, almost nothing within 5-on-5. It’s something that I’m catching on the fly.
“But it’s part of the process. I knew that it wasn’t going to come right away. I’m still working my way up to playing with them, getting adjusted and playing basketball again. But so far, it’s been good.”