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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook still uncertain on return date

Russell Westbrook reiterated uncertainty about his return date Friday afternoon at the Thunder's media day. When asked specifically whether he'll be back for the regular season opener on Oct. 30, Westbrook said “I'm not sure.”
by Darnell Mayberry Published: September 27, 2013

The wait will continue.

And so will the questions.

Thunder media day came and went Friday with a record number of reporters all coming up empty in their search for any clues to the biggest mystery currently surrounding this basketball team.

When will Russell Westbrook return?

The All-Star point guard, perhaps unintentionally, added to the ambiguity when he uttered three frightful words.

“I'm not sure,” Westbrook said when asked specifically whether he is “expecting” or “hoping” to be back for the start of the regular season.

“I just wake up in the morning, get to my rehab and then go back to sleep and do it all over again. I just take it one day at a time, man, and try not to look ahead. When something like this happens you have to take it slow. I mean, there's no need for me to rush into looking ahead on the schedule or anything like that. Just take it one day at a time and try to find a way to get back.”

Westbrook and Thunder general manager Sam Presti expressed similar sentiments earlier this week to The Oklahoman, and Westbrook's media session Friday reinforced those statements more than shed any more light on when the All-Star point guard will make his 2013-14 debut.

Westbrook hasn't played since April 24, when Houston guard Patrick Beverley dove into his right leg and tore his lateral meniscus. At his preseason news conference Wednesday, Presti said Westbrook is “healing properly” and “on pace.”

Since the injury was announced, however, both the player and the team have been careful to not provide any timetables for Westbrook's return to basketball activities.

“I don't know how long the process takes normally,” Westbrook said. “Everybody's body is different. I think once people see a certain knee injury everybody expects (the timeline to be) three or four months, or they say 10 days. But everybody reacts to certain injuries different. This is my first time ever being hurt and being out this long.”

Before his injury, which occurred in Game 2 of the Thunder's first-round playoff series with the Rockets, Westbrook had developed a reputation as of an ironman. He had never missed a game in high school, college or his professional career. His 394 consecutive regular-season games played still stand as the league's longest active streak.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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