Rubio back in starting lineup for Timberwolves

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Ricky Rubio is back where he belongs -- in the starting lineup for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Spanish point guard got the start on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, the first time he's been on the court for the opening tip since he tore two ligaments in his left knee last March. Rubio missed nine months with the injury and has been on restricted minutes since he returned last month.

The Wolves have been trying to ease him back into action by bringing him off the bench. He's been up and down in the 10 games he's played and was bothered by back and groin issues early in his return. But he's been playing pain-free for past week or so while lobbying to get more playing time.