Kevin Durant is about to get his sidekick back. According to USA Today on November 3, point guard Russell Westbrook has been cleared to play and is expected to be in the lineup Sunday night when the Oklahoma Thunder host the Phoenix Suns.
The three-time All-Star has been nursing a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury he suffered during Game 2 of the Thunder’s 2013 first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. Westbrook has been missed by Oklahoma City as the team has struggled to have a consistent number two scorer in his absence.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced the announcement of Westbrook’s return in a press release. In the release he said:
“Russell Westbrook has gone through a methodical rehab process jointly created by our medical and performance teams and treating physicians. The process has been instrumental in getting Russell to this point and has included various physical and medical benchmarks. The final benchmark being unrestricted basketball activity. After hitting the necessary marks, all parties, including the team, consulting physicians, Russell’s representatives, and most importantly Russell, jointly determined that returning to play was the correct next step.”
It may take a little while for Russell Westbrook to return to the player he was before the injury, but his 23.2 points a game that he averaged during the 2012-13 season will be welcomed by one of the top teams in the Western Conference. If the Thunder expects to compete for a championship, a healthy Westbrook will be the key. His return Sunday night will be much anticipated by the Thunder and their fans.