Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday night that Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook could return within the next two weeks.
Westbrook, who is recovering from a second off-season surgery to his right knee, originally was facing a four-to-six week timeline for a return.
Teammates and coach Scott Brooks, however, have said in recent days that Westbrook has participated in parts of team practices and has looked good in the portions he’s taking part in.
“One of the dunks (in practice), he went up and looked like the old Russell, plus some; head at the rim,” Reggie Jackson said of Westbrook last week. “We’ll be happy when he gets back fully healthy, but it’s good to see him with a smile on his face, being about the team, bouncing back and happy to be back on the court.”
Westbrook tore the meniscus in his right knee during Game 2 of the Thunder’s first-round series against Houston in last year’s postseason. He missed the remainder of the playoffs with the injury. A loose stitch from the original surgery caused swelling just before the start of training camp, forcing Westbrook to undergo a second procedure and delay his return.
When the Thunder opens the season Wednesday at Utah, Westbrook’s league-high 394-game streak of regular season games played will come to an end.
“I don’t really know, as far as timetables or anything of that nature,” said Kevin Durant on Monday when asked about Westbrook. “But it’s good to see him, not always rehabbing just being around the team more. So I know he’s ready to play. I know he’s ready to come out and help the team. But, of course, you got to go through the medical clearance first. I don’t know too much about that. I’m just trying to go out there and play. But when the doctors say he’s ready to play, I’m sure that’s when he’s going to be out on the court.”