The Timberwolves placed T-shirts upon every Target Center seat before Friday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, promoting a "white-out" that kicked off their new season-ticket campaign and celebrated a pulsating new era in franchise history driven by rising young stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

On Saturday, 19,000 black shirts might have better fit the mood for the game against New Orleans. The Wolves learned Rubio will miss the rest of his rookie season and this summer's Olympic Games because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered late in Friday's loss to the Lakers.

Rubio planted his left leg while trying to defend Kobe Bryant, his knee appeared to buckle and he ended up on the floor clutching that knee in pain while also whistled for a foul that Bryant turned into the winning points in a 105-102 loss.

The Wolves not only lost the game on that play, they also lost their starting point guard, a rookie from Spain who has helped restore the franchise to relevance and turned their season into something of a traveling rock show because of the joy with which he plays, his boyish good looks and international appeal.

"We're not the first team in the league to have a star player incur an injury, it happens," Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said. "It happens in our sport all the time, as unfortunate as it may be. What's important to me is we still have a lot of season left to play. We are still in the thick of things."