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Could Russell Westbrook return before All-Star break?

Jan 6, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook plays by his own rules.

See here, here, here, here, here and here.

So, just because the Oklahoma City Thunder said he’s be out until after the All-Star Break, that doesn’t mean Westbrook is listening. After all, when the team said he’d miss the first four to six weeks of the season following preseason knee surgery, Westbrook returned in the Thunder’s third game.

Should we expect as speedier comeback again? Westbrook isn’t quite saying that, but one person who heard the point guard’s tone read between the lines a little bit.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

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.

“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.”

Reggie Jackson has been up and down in Westbrook’s absence, helping the Thunder to a 4-2 record since Westbrook’s latest setback. That has Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference, but the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers are each a game back.

Playoff seeding matters, especially in this stacked West. The sooner Westbrook returns to full health, the better for the Thunder. Not only will they gain a star starter, they’ll also add a talented reserve in Jackson, who’s stretching his limits as a starter.

Westbrook returning won’t solve all Oklahoma City’s problems, of course, and it might even lead to new kinks. Westbrook can still be headstrong, getting too aggressive at times. But after all this, the Thunder can’t complain about that. It’s the only reason he might be back on the court anytime soon.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    He should take his time imo. If he doesn’t want to, training staff should force him to.

    Playoffs seeding in the West is not as important as the author think. Case point, Spurs rested their stars all reg. season last year, and they came out of the west.

    The most important thing to come out West, is not top seed. It’s BEING HEALTHY when it matters the most. That is being healthy in the playoffs.

    If he comes back too soon, and breaks his tires in the second round of the playoffs, it serves nobody.

    • azarkhan - Jan 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      The Spurs did win the West, but Westbrook was hurt for most of the playoffs. With Westbrook, OKC probably beats Memphis and faces the Spurs in the WC Finals. Given what happened in 2012, I wouldn’t have bet on the Spurs.

      • spursareold - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        Harden is the one that killed SA, not Westbrick.

  2. spursareold - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    He’d be stupid to rush back early, AGAIN. He was supposed to be back close to Chirstmas to start the year, and only missed two games. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s on the shelf again. If this knee acts up again, he’ll likely miss the playoffs.

  3. sellahh - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Who cares, DRose more than took his time and where is he now? How can you not love the attitude of Westbrook.

    • spursareold - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      .?? They didn’t even have the same injury.

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