The Thunder has finally dodged an injury bullet.
After what initially looked to be a potentially serious knee injury on Friday night in Toronto, Russell Westbrook walked out of the arena fine, without a brace and telling The Oklahoman that he didn’t expect to miss any time.
And on Saturday, after an MRI and clinical exam with team doctors, that fortunate diagnosis was confirmed. No areas of concerned surfaced as a result of Westbrook’s knee-to-knee contact with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (you can see the play here).
The team is calling it a knee sprain. He isn’t expected to miss any additional time.
But moving forward, the Thunder will continue to monitor Westbrook’s minutes and rest him on one game of its upcoming back-to-backs. It’s a plan OKC hatched and publicized upon Westbrook’s latest return. And it’s one the Thunder has stuck with. His latest scare will likely only solidify that stance.
OKC plays Denver at home on Monday and the Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday. Westbrook is expected to play in one of those games. If the Thunder follows its recent theme, choosing to use Westbrook in the tougher game, he’ll likely be in uniform against the Mavericks on Tuesday. Dallas blasted the Thunder in OKC without Westbrook last week.
There are 13 games remaining in the regular-season and four back-to-backs. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 19.