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Russell Westbrook not yet cleared for basketball activity

Sep 24, 2013, 10:49 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two Getty Images

Exactly when Russell Westbrook will be back from the torn meniscus that ended his — and essentially Oklahoma City’s — playoff run is not clear. The Thunder are part of the NBA’s new “we don’t give timelines” trend (which became popular in the wake of Andrew Bynum and Derrick Rose last season).

But we know this much — he is not cleared for basketball activity yet, likely will not be by the start of camp and could potentially miss the start of the season.

Westbrook was his usually brash self talking with the Oklahoman on Monday, but that doesn’t mean there was a timeline for his return.

“I’m going to come back and be better,” Westbrook said matter-of-factly Monday, with the same unshakable swagger he’s always shown….

Westbrook has not yet been cleared to resume full basketball activities, and neither him nor team officials are providing a timetable for when that final obstacle will be overcome.

As an organization, the Thunder have long been cautious with bringing guys back from injury, particularly young players they see as long-term parts of their foundation. The Thunder need a healthy and explosive Westbrook in April and May, so if that means he misses some games in November so be it. OKC is focused on the big picture.

GM Sam Presti said the plan is to see how he responds to workouts once training camp opens next week, then go from there. They are not going to rush anything.

The bigger question is Westbrook when he does return — will he play with that same fearless, attacking style? Probably, that’s who Westbrook is. But it may take a little time for him to fully trust his knee again.

Still, it’s about the playoffs. The Thunder want to get back to the NBA Finals and they need the old Westbrook to have any shot at that.

  1. bamabob - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I don’t want to panic here but it’s been almost 5 months and it was a torn meniscus. Would’ve figured he’d be cleared by now. Somewhat concerned that he isn’t.

  2. whitdog23 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    not as easy as you think. torn meniscus is not just a paper cut. ask arod. the ‘timetable’ for his return from torn meniscus was 3 days. it took him over 3 months

  3. chicitybulls - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I’m having the same surgery on the same knee tomorrow. Doc said 3 months before I’m back to playing ball. Talked to a buddy who said he was back in a month. It depends on how the rehab goes and if there’s any side effects or setbacks.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      There is a difference between being back to play pick up basketball, and being able to play NBA basketball.

      Kurt was right the other day. Adrian Peterson really ruined it for everyone else. Not everyone heals the same, and most people tend to skew towards the later ranges of healing estimates.

      • bougin89 - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Agreed. To take your comment one step further their is a difference between each athlete. Guys like Rose and Westbrook just explode off the ground, even in comparison to other pro athletes.

        And yes Adrian Peterson absolutely wrecked it for everyone. He is a medical miracle.

  4. lakerade - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    A little worrisome that it’s taking so long, but no way it affects his fearlessness. He’ll tear it again before scaling things back.

  5. legend30 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Thunder still have Kendrick Perkins. Nuff said.

  6. ethanm24 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I’ve torn both my meniscus’ and at 5 months I was playing like nothing ever happened.
    The only thing I can think of that would hold him back is if he got a complete meniscus transplant. That takes 6-8 months to heal.

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