Ricky Rubio joins Spanish club Barcelona for practice

Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio retired from the NBA a few weeks ago, but he may not be finished playing professionally altogether.Ricky Rubio

Rubio could potentially play for his homeland of Spain, specifically with Spanish club FC Barcelona. He opened the door to such speculation by joining the club for a training session on Tuesday.

“Seeing Ricky on the court is very good news, but only and exclusively for his recovery process. I am happy as a person, and we also have to be very happy that he has chosen our club as part of his recovery process,” Barca head coach Roger Grimau said of Rubio, via Mundo Deportivo.

Grimau added that Rubio is “physically fit” and looks ready to play.

“I had to give just a few orders because before I finished the sentence, he already knew what I wanted to say,” Grimau said.

“I know there is a lot of buzz, but inside, we try to protect ourselves and do our job. The routine with Ricky is the same, but it is a little easier because he knows the gym.”

Grimau wouldn’t speculate on whether Rubio intends to join the team on an official basis and start playing in games.

“We have not talked about any return, neither (now) nor future,” Grimau said. “We have only talked about offering the facilities and the team so that he can continue with this recovery process.”

Rubio, who last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, took a mental health break before the season. He and the Cavs agreed to a contract buyout before he announced his retirement from the NBA. 

“One day, when the time is right, I would love to share my full experience with you all so I can help support others going through similar situations,” he wrote in a social media post. “Until then, I would like to keep it private out of respect for my family and myself, as I’m still working on my mental health. But I’m proud to say I’m doing much better and getting better every day.”

Rubio left the door open to playing in Spain with Barcelona, sources told Hoops Wire at the time. He has indicated in the past that’s where he hoped to finish his career.

Rubio appeared in 33 games last season, his first after suffering the ACL injury, averaging 5.2 points and 3.5 assists.

He thanked all the teams for which he played — the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves — but offered special praise to the Cavs, who re-signed him after trading him to the Indiana Pacers on an expiring contract. Rubio returned but wasn’t the same after tearing his ACL early in the previous season.

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