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Thunder notebook: D.J. White cleared to play

Oklahoman Modified: March 18, 2009 at 4:54 am •  Published: March 18, 2009
Rookie forward D.J. White, who has yet to play this season, has been cleared by team doctors to participate in full-contact practices and games.

With only 15 games remaining, it’s unclear if White, the 29th overall pick in last year’s draft, will make his debut this season or if Thunder officials will hold him out until 2009-10. White underwent two surgeries to remove a benign growth in his jaw and still has visible swelling on the left side of his face. But he has participated in light practices and shoot-around sessions over the past few weeks, doing everything but full-contact drills.

White, the Big Ten Player of the Year last season at Indiana, averaged 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in 33 games for the Hoosiers last season. Whenever he takes the court, he is expected to add depth to the Thunder’s frontcourt with interior toughness, rebounding and a soft shooting touch.

"He’s very athletic and he’s very active, especially on the boards,” said Russell Westbrook. "He can score and bring people out to the elbow. He’s going to be a good asset for us, especially rebounding and blocking shots.”

Durant ‘close’ to 100 percent
Kevin Durant averages 23.5 points in two games since returning from a severely sprained ankle that sidelined him for seven games.

"I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent healed, but it’s getting close every day,” Durant said. "I’ve been icing it and rehabbing it.”

Asked if he feels his shooting stroke is back to normal, Durant responded: "I was hitting some but I was missing some, too.

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