Ricky Rubio’s rookie season ends with knee injury

Ricky Rubio’s rookie season has come to an abrupt end.

The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard will sit out the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the team announced Saturday. Now the upstart Timberwolves will have to keep chasing a playoff berth without one of the players who was most responsible for the franchise’s resurgence.

“I feel bad for Ricky having to miss the rest of this season,” team President David Kahn said in a statement. “But Ricky is a competitor, and I am confident that he will work hard to get back on the court next year and continue his progression as one of the top point guards in our league.”

Rubio will also miss the upcoming Olympics, in which he was expected to be a vital part of Spain’s bid for the gold medal.


Rubio went down in the closing seconds of a loss to the Lakers on Friday night, when his knee buckled as he tried to help out on defense against Kobe Bryant.


Canadian skier dies in competition

A Canadian racer died in a World Cup skicross event at Geneva on Saturday, tumbling through safety nets in what ski authorities called a “freak accident.”

Nik Zoricic, 29, died from head injuries when he crashed directly into the nets lining the side of the course after going wide over the final jump. As he went through the nets, his skis and poles were thrown clear.

Skicross — in which four racers jostle for an edge down a course of banks, rolls and ridges — debuted as an Olympic sport in 2010.


Ted Ligety of the United States won the season’s next-to-last World Cup giant slalom at Kransjska Gora, Slovenia.

The giant-slalom champion in 2008, ’10 and ’11, Ligety trails leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who finished third, by 92 points with one race remaining next week in Schladming, Austria.

With a victory worth 100 points, Ligety must win the final race and hope Hirscher doesn’t score points.


Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won a World Cup slalom at Are, Sweden, and overall champion Lindsey Vonn skied out during her second run.

Hoefl-Riesch edged Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia by one hundredth of a second. She finished in 1 minute 49.85 seconds to win the 23rd World Cup race of her career. Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon was third.

Vonn was 15th after the first run. She skidded out on the last third of the course, failing to improve on her 1,808 overall points. The American is bidding to become the first female skier to break 2,000 points in one season.


Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby ruled himself out for Sunday’s game against Boston but is optimistic he could play for the first time since early December when the team travels to play the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Crosby practiced with his teammates Saturday but thinks he needs a few more days of mixing it up with them before donning his familiar No. 87 for the first time since concussion symptoms resurfaced following a loss to the Bruins on Dec. 5.


George McNeill shot a five-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson and Kevin Stadler into the final round of the Puerto Rico Open at Rio Grande.

McNeill, at 13-under 203, is trying to win for the first time since the Open in 2007, when he was a PGA Tour rookie. He eagled the par-five fifth, dropped strokes with three-putt bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8, then birdied five of the last 10 holes.

Stenson had a 65, and Stadler shot a 66.

Second-round leader Matt Jones was two strokes back at 11 under after a 72.

Ryo Ishikawa, in Puerto Rico because he failed to qualify for the World Golf Championship this week at Doral, shot a 69 and will go into the final round only three shots out of the lead.


Michael Phelps paced himself and still recorded the fastest time in the world this year in the 200 butterfly at the Columbus (Ohio) Grand Prix.

The 14-time Olympic gold medalist was not happy with his final 100 meters but still swam in 1:55.32 to break the meet record by more than two seconds.

Christine Magnuson raced to a meet record of 25.06 seconds in the 50 freestyle.