Westbrook expected to face the Heat in comeback game.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has revealed that teammate and explosive point guard Russell Westbrook will return to action on Thursday night when the team face the Miami Heat.
The 25-year-old has been sidelined since having his third knee surgery since April on December 27, which has seen him miss 25 of the team’s 55 games so far this season.
However, in his absence, Durant has been able to lead the Thunder to a 43-12 record which has taken them to the top of the Western Conference, while the likes of Reggie Jackson, Serge Ibaka and Jeremy Lamb have all stepped up and contributed.
Meanwhile, on an individual level, Durant has become the league’s leading MVP candidate after averaging career highs of 31.5 points and 5.5 assists per game while also adding 7.8 rebound per night.
The Thunder ace also had a stretch of 12 straight games with at least 30 points, and he will be looking to extend that run further with the return of his influential team-mate.
“Next game right after the All-Star break, against Miami,” Durant said of Westbrook’s timetable, according to ESPN.
Meanwhile, Durant insisted that Westbrook played an integral role for the team despite his injury lay-off, acting as an additional coach on the bench and helping his replacements in improving.
However, it will be intriguing to see how the explosive star reintegrates back into the team and how that will effect Durant, who will arguably spend less time with the ball and will have to sacrifice some of his dominant play.
Westbrook hasn’t played since the Thunder’s 123-94 win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, but he is averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game this season.
The Thunder have emerged as a leading candidate to top the West without him, and their rivals will now have to adjust in order to cope with another threat in Scott Brooks’ line-up.