Russell Westbrook clears protocol, set to practice with Rockets – ESPN

thumbnail

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook said Wednesday that he is “thankful and blessed” to be able to participate in practice again after recovering from the coronavirus.

Westbrook spoke to the media before Wednesday’s practice, his first with the team since clearing the NBA’s quarantine protocol at the league’s Walt Disney World campus. He arrived in Orlando, Florida, on Monday after twice testing negative.

Westbrook said he was asymptomatic “other than a stuffy nose” and was able to do conditioning workouts during his quarantine at home.

“I’ve been at home, trying to be productive,” said Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star who is averaging 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in his first season with the Rockets. “Obviously, not able to get on the basketball floor, but finding ways to stay active, doing as much conditioning as I can probably do. We’ll see [the conditioning level] when I get out there, but that’s the last thing that I worry about. I’m in pretty good shape, so I should be all right.”

Westbrook told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he tested positive for the coronavirus just after the July 4 weekend and wouldn’t have known he had COVID-19 if he wasn’t undergoing NBA testing.

Coach Mike D’Antoni said forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who was signed as a replacement after Thabo Sefolosha opted out of the NBA’s restart, had been cleared and could arrive in Orlando as soon as Wednesday.

It has not been determined whether Westbrook will play in the Rockets’ scrimmage Friday against the Toronto Raptors. D’Antoni said that decision would be made by Westbrook, in consultation with the team’s medical staff.

“Whatever he wants is cool,” said D’Antoni, who expected Westbrook to participate in “at least 80%” of Friday’s practice. “He knows his body. Again, we’re not talking about just a normal athlete. We’re talking about a super athlete, and I sometimes underestimate it. I know today I might have a hard time getting through practice, but he might not have any problem. We rely on him and the medical staff to make an informed decision, and whatever that decision is, we’ll go with it.”

Westbrook said it was too early to know whether he planned to scrimmage Friday.

“I don’t have a feel for if I can make a layup at this point,” Westbrook quipped. “I’ve got to start there first. Once I start there, I’ll make my way from there.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top