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Russell Westbrook cleared medically, will play for Thunder Sunday

Nov 3, 2013, 2:56 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook takes a break on the court against the Houston Rockets in the second half of their Game 2 NBA Playoffs basketball game in Oklahoma City. Reuters

Remember how Russell Westbrook had to have a second knee surgery to clean up a loose stitch and that was going to force him to miss the first month of the season or so?

What they meant was two games.

Westbrook has cleared all his medical benchmarks and is physically ready to go, so he will play Sunday night at home when the Thunder host the Phoenix Suns, tweets Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. He has been out since tearing the lateral meniscus in his right knee during the first round of the playoffs last year against Houston.

There had been reports of him looking good in practice for a week but the Thunder have been cautious with their timetables. They didn’t want to rush him back, they need him right.

Oklahoma City started the season 1-1 without Westbrook, relying on the Kevin Durant show to win games, but they are vastly more dangerous with Westbrook on the court as an option. The Thunder don’t exactly run complex, Spurs-like sets, they just rely on you not being able to match up with their stars. That worked to the tune of 60 wins last season, thank you very much.

Expect a little rust on Westbrook, no matter how he has looked in practice and workouts it’s not the same as game speed (just ask Derrick Rose, although his ACL was a more serious injury). Plus, the Suns have played surprisingly good defense in their first two games (opponents are shooting 38.6 percent overall and 30.2 percent from three).

Still, in a deep West where lost games could hurt playoff seedings, his speedy recovery is huge.

  1. detroitbasketballfan - Nov 3, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Derrick rose told him to take all the time he needed to get back. So he came back faster than expected hahaha.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Rose’s performance must’ve scared him into coming back early. Whatever he did – do the opposite.

  2. spthegr8 - Nov 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Just hope he isn’t rushing back to soon. Be real shame for him too mess that knee up again. Russ is a special player!!

  3. rodyaugu - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Still coming back better than Derrick Rose.

    • basketballgod87 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      i doubt it

  4. imaverick05 - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Russ is a gamer!! Unlike Rose

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      Very different knee injuries.

  5. detectivejimmymcnulty - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I know it won’t happen, but I really hope people lay off Westbrook for shooting too much since KD showed in the playoffs last year that even without Westbrook Durant doesn’t take that many more shots.

  6. basketballgod87 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    russ coming to early should took another week

  7. pfic15 - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    His muscle memory hasn’t missed a beat.

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