Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook’s accessibility for the start of the NBA playoffs is questionable after a MRI uncovered a stressed muscle in his right quadriceps, the team reported Wednesday.
Westbrook won’t play in the rest of the seeding schedule and will be reconsidered before the playoffs start one week from now. Houston is set to take on Westbrook’s previous team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the first round.
“We’ll see how it responds and everything, but we all hope,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said regarding Westbrook’s status for the start of the playoffs. “We’ll just see next week. I don’t know right now.”
The group had made arrangements for Westbrook to pass on Wednesday’s down – a 108-104 misfortune to the Indiana Pacers in Lake Buena Vista, Florida – to rest, however he presently has been controlled out of Friday’s down against the Philadelphia 76ers also.
Westbrook, who was a late appearance to the NBA’s Walt Disney World Resort campus since he tested positive for COVID-19, first felt soreness in quite a while right quadriceps after the Rockets’ misfortune to the Portland Trail Blazers on Aug. 4. He passed on the following two games on account of a right quad injury, as indicated by the team.
He played 28 minutes in Houston’s misfortune to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, recording 20 points, 5 bounce back and 6 assists.
“I don’t think he aggravated it,” D’Antoni said. “During the game and after the game, he was fine. He woke up the next day and was sore, so they’re checking it out to make sure it can respond to treatment. We don’t know 100 percent right now, but he’s definitely going to be out Friday and then we’ll see.”
Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star procured in a blockbuster trade with the Thunder the previous summer, has averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 bounce back and 7.0 assists in his first season with the Rockets.
“Guys have opportunities to step up and have got to be ready to go and take advantage of the minutes,” Rockets star guard James Harden said. “Obviously, we all know how important Russ is to everything we’re trying to accomplish. So the faster he can get his body right and get back on the court, the better off we’ll be.”
The Rockets won’t have their total beginning arrangement together for any of the eight seeding games. Guard Eric Gordon missed the initial six games because of a sprained right lower leg endured in Houston’s last scrimmage.
Gordon returned in Wednesday’s misfortune to Indiana, scoring 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting and committing six turnovers before arriving at his restriction of 20 minutes.
“I did feel pretty good out there,” said Gordon, who was 1-of-9 from 3-point range. “I’ve still got to get my timing back right — mechanics of getting into my shot and all the little things. But that will come with time. It was good to get to the basket and do things I normally do. It was good to show explosiveness and all that.”