The Oklahoma City Thunder played their first home game of the season on Sunday night at the Chesapeake Arena and they did so with Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder issued a statement this afternoon, saying Westbrook’s recovery from a second knee surgery is ahead of schedule, and the team feels he his ready to play in a game.
According to Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti, regarding Russell Westbrook’s availability to play in tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns:
“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.”
Westbrook originally suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in last year’s NBA Playoffs, missing the entire series the Thunder played against Memphis.
He had to undergo a second surgery in October after a loose stitch was discovered in the recovery process from the first surgery.
Westbrook was expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season while recovering from the second surgery, but now he will return just two games into the season.
The Thunder are 1-1.
Tipoff Sunday night is 6:00 against Phoenix.
Before the Thunder released their announcement about Westbrook, Darnell Mayberry tweeted “Russell Westbrook has passed all medical/physical benchmarks in rehab. Russell, his reps, physicians and medical team agree. He will play tonight.
OKC thunder’s page also retweets about Westbrook’s possible return.
Twitter users are raving about Westbrook possibly playing tonight.