Westbrook (hand) and Durant (foot) have been ruled out for at least another month…
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Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks has insisted that injured star duo Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are great ‘encouragers’ from the bench.
Westbrook underwent surgery on his broken right hand last week but he remains upbeat about his recovery and he revealed that he is just trying to help his team-mates in any way possible during his spell on the sidelines.
The Thunder are of course also without reigning league MVP Kevin Durant who had surgery on a fractured foot last month, while the likes of Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones have all been struggling with their own injury woes to start the season.
As for Westbrook, he has now had four surgical procedures in less than two years and although he grows frustrated with the recovery process, he is still adamant on supporting his team-mates and staying positive.
“I missed a shot and tried to come back up and get a rebound and I hit my hand on [teammate Kendrick Perkins’] elbow,” Westbrook said.
“I knew I hurt something. I thought I dislocated my finger or something. I couldn’t tell until I got the ball back when I ran back down the court and couldn’t dribble.
“I was already mad once I hit my hand because I knew it wasn’t gonna be good, so I was instantly upset and frustrated. Obviously, I was ready to go and ready to help my team go out and get wins, especially since we were down some guys already. It was frustrating for me, but it’ll be all right. I’ll get back to where I was at.”
Oklahoma City have remained competitive in the absence of their big names but they have slipped to a 1-5 record, and coach Scott Brooks has conceded that it is difficult without his star players but he is pleased with their impact.
“He and Kevin are incredible encouragers during games,” Brooks said. “They are cheering every possession and they get on guys during huddles when needed. They’re involved, they’re engaged, they want to make an impact while they’re not playing, and that’s good to see.”
Neither Westbrook nor Durant are expected to be back in consistent action until January and it remains to be seen how quickly they are able to work on their conditioning and work off any rust.