After tearing his meniscus back in last year’s second round playoff match-up against the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook was expected to be back for the start of the season. But then, shortly before the season was to begin, the Thunder announced that Westbrook had suffered a set back and would miss an additional 4-6 weeks. Everyone was bummed out, because Westbrook is one of the most exciting players in the league.
The Thunder clearly missed Westbrook in their first two games this year, squeaking by the Utah Jazz and then getting walloped by the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was looking like a few long weeks were in store for Oklahoma City.
Well, until this afternoon that is.
R. Westbrook has passed all medical/physical benchmarks in rehab. Russ, his reps, physicians & medical team agree. He will play tonight.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) November 3, 2013
Yep, Russell Westbrook is back. Cue the celebration.
Obviously this is huge news for the Thunder. Westbrook is one of the best players in the league, and his production and presence simply cannot be replaced. With him back out on the court, it also takes pressure off of Kevin Durant. With no Westbrook on the court, teams could focus almost solely on Durant when the Thunder had the ball. While Durant is good enough to deal with the added attention, Westbrook certainly makes his life easier.
The Thunder and Westbrook take on the Suns later tonight in Phoenix. According to Darnell Mayberry, “Westbrook is not expected to be on a minute restriction.”
You can #LetWestbrookBeWestbrook at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBATV or on League Pass.