Rockets’ Russell Westbrook plans to play in scrimmage after earlier doubts
Houston Rockets All-Star guard Russell Westbrook will, in fact, lace up for his team’s scrimmage against the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Friday night, a source tells ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Westbrook has participated in two practices since joining his team in the Orlando bubble on Monday and clearing the league’s quarantine protocol, which requires two negative tests.
On Wednesday, Westbrook told reporters that he was “thankful” to be back hooping with his teammates after contracting the coronavirus over the July 4 weekend. He said he did his best to stay fit while at home, and insisted conditioning “is that’s the last thing that I worry about. I’m in pretty good shape, so I should be all right.”
Russell Westbrook and head coach Mike D’Antoni was initially unsure if the 2017 MVP would be ready to go by Friday’s matchup.
“I don’t have a feel for if I can make a layup at this point,” Westbrook joked on Wednesday. “I’ve got to start there first. Once I start there, I’ll make my way from there.”
“Whatever he wants is cool,” D’Antoni said about Westbrook’s timeline. “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…We rely on him and the medical staff to make an informed decision, and whatever that decision is, we’ll go with it.”
The nine-time All-Star is averaging 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in his debut campaign alongside James Harden in Houston.
The Rockets (40-24) resume their season on July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks (40-27).
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