Oklahoma City Thunder: Will Russell Westbrook again return sooner than expected?

Speaking for the first time since undergoing a third surgery to his right knee, Westbrook refused to reveal any clues about when he'll be back in action. But he was again resolute that team timelines aren't his timelines.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 5, 2014

Russell Westbrook came as close as he could Sunday to confirming our suspicions.

There's no way he'll be on the shelf through the All-Star break.

Speaking for the first time since undergoing a third surgery to his right knee, Westbrook refused to reveal any clues about when he'll be back in action.

But he was again resolute that team timelines aren't his timelines.

“Yeah, I don't pay no attention to none of those projections, man,” Westbrook said. “I just wake up and try to get better each and every day. That's it.”

The last time Westbrook underwent an unexpected surgery, on Oct. 1, the Thunder announced he would miss the first four-to-six weeks of the regular season. He missed two games.

Upon his return, Westbrook told reporters he didn't know who made up that timetable and added “I never was on that timeline at all.”

Now, everyone from Westbrook to Thunder coach Scott Brooks is again trying to keep quiet about the point guard's recovery.

They talk about Westbrook needing to meet necessary benchmarks but refrain from disclosing what those are while acting as though Westbrook's health isn't currently the most important thing to the franchise.

The truth is Westbrook's progression this time around is beginning to appear ahead of schedule, much like it did before only no one bothered to put together the pieces.

Westbrook shed his crutches within a week of surgery.

Days later, he was spotted on the practice floor shooting free throws.

And on Saturday at Minnesota, he was seen going through light drills before the Thunder beat the Wolves.

Reasons for optimism?

“I'm not sure, man,” Westbrook said. “I just wake up and try to get on the floor as quick as possible, man. I just try to do what's best for my body and just take it day by day.”

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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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