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Ricky Rubio (back spasms) doubtful for Suns vs. Timberwolves

Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio will likely miss his team’s Saturday matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves due to an ongoing battle with back spasms.

According to reports, Rubio is listed as doubtful for the game.

Rubio previously missed Thursday’s tilt against the New Orleans Pelicans with the same injury. The Spanish-born floor general will not have a chance to play against his former team, the Timberwolves, on Saturday.

For Minnesota, forward Robert Covington is out while guard Jake Layman will be sidelined, too.

Rubio signed with the Suns in the past offseason, with Phoenix inking the veteran point guard to a three-year, $51 million deal to start in the backcourt alongside rising star shooting guard Devin Booker. Rubio has averaged 12.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game in 11 starts during the 2019-20 season.

Rubio spent the previous two seasons with the Utah Jazz after the Timberwolves traded the 6-foot-3 point guard in June 2017 for a future first-round pick. Rubio started his NBA career in the Twin Cities, however, where he became known for slick passes and dishes following a very successful professional career in Spain.

This week, head coach Monty Williams called the sidelined Rubio a “leader” for the young Suns team, which features players like rookie Cam Johnson and second-year players Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges.

“He’s a leader on our team, there’s no doubt, but we’ve proven there’s a style of play that works for us,” WIlliams said, per Brandon Kleen of SB Nation. “It may not mean you’re going to win the game, but it will give you a shot.”

It’s unclear when Rubio can return to the hardwood, but Phoenix certainly needs the conductor on offense.