OKC’s Westbrook Gets Green Light

VIDEO: The Game Time crew hears from OKC coach Scott Brooks on Russell Westbrook’s imminent return

OKLAHOMA CITY — The wait is over. Russell Westbrook is ready to play tonight against the Miami Heat.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard last played on Christmas Day when he dropped a triple-double on the New York Knicks. Two days later, he underwent a third surgery on his right knee due to recurring swelling.

General manager Sam Presti said Westbrook’s re-integration will include “building his minutes over time.” They’ll keep an eye on him to see his availability in back-to-back games. The Thunder’s next back-to-back games come March 16 and 17, at home against Dallas and the next night in Chicago.

“We are all very excited to have Russell back,” Presti said in a statement. “He has worked extremely hard throughout his rehabilitation, and his addition will allow us to build on the progress we have made in his absence. As Russell integrates back into the team we are going to manage the transition by building his minutes over time and will evaluate his availability in back-to-back situations. These steps are an effort to control the areas of his return to play where feasible, given the reduced practice and conditioning time during the regular season. Our goal is to create the best foundation for Russell and the team as we head into the postseason.”

The Thunder (43-12) lead the Western Conference and went 20-7 during Westbrook’s absence.

Westbrook, averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds a game in 25 games this season, had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee that occurred during the first round of the playoffs last season. A second surgery was needed prior to training camp. He returned three games into the season, but returned to the operating table once again in late December.

Oklahoma City is 21-4 this season with Westbrook in the lineup.


  1. simple7 says:

    Nothing else to say that its not possible Westbrook stay in OKC.People’s blind’s can’t se team OKC its no longer same team with Westbrook. So many reasons for that………..

  2. Amiejhay says:

    I’m really excited to watch the game against Miami with Russ back in OKC’s line up. I trust that he (Russ) will be integrated in the team as well as when he went back to play at the start of this season. OKC’s management did a really great work that time and I think they’ll do the same or maybe even better hopefully. However, he may have some games that comes up short of our expectations. As fans, we should give him time to work his way back to his previous level of play. Russ is young and has a lot of grounds for improvement.

  3. quez says:

    Russell Westbrook back oh ya my favorite player he gone have a wonderful game..

  4. KDfan says:

    He will be phased in. That’ll allow time for Russ and the rest of the team to gel. It’ll also prepare Russ physically and get him game ready for the play-offs. Russplosive is back!!!

  5. kenny says:

    just hopefully Westbrook under stands that Durant is having a mostor year and Westbrook need to just fi in not take a bounch of stupped shots and mess Durants rythem up

  6. tim says:

    D fisher and Jeremy are playing their best game. With WB in, they’ll be back to their cell again. The two men game between Durant and ibaka are also very effective. I hope WB realize this…..

    • Myles says:

      okc can only get better from westbrook coming back. reggie jackson can go back to his off the bench role where he was much more comfortable and efficient. jeremy lamb and d fish wont be put in a cage just have a bit of pressure taken off them. and i think the thunder and westbrook know what durant and ibaka can do they wont be stopping those two playing together. also the westbrook ibaka game is huge as well remember that

    • fan says:

      21-4 With Westbrook. I think he knows what to do