Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio / CLUTCHPOINTS

The Utah Jazz have played the first three games of their second round series against the Houston Rockets without point guard and floor general Ricky Rubio. After playing well in the first five games of their first round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rubio suffered a hamstring strain in the Jazz’ Game 6 win over the Thunder and did not return.

Related: Report: Ricky Rubio out for Game 1 vs. Rockets, could miss few weeks

Utah went on to win and advance to the second round, but Rubio missed Games 1-3 of the second round series and was reportedly looking at a potential several weeks worth of a recovery timeline. However, it now looks like Rubio is progressing faster than expected and could return as soon as Sunday for Game 4 against Houston.

Rubio has been very much needed for the Jazz over the last couple of games, both as a scorer and a facilitator. He averaged a career-high 13.1 points with the Jazz this regular season, and also added 4.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.6 steals on 41.8 percent shooting. He’s taken his game to the next level in the playoffs, averaging 14 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, leading the Jazz to a surprise upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder .

Game 4 between the Rockets and Jazz is on Sunday, and it’ll be a do or die game for Utah. They cannot afford to go down 1-3 in the series heading back to Houston for Game 5.