Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the first few games of the team's first-round series in the playoffs, per multiple reports.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN report Westbrook, who is suffering from a strained quadriceps muscle, could miss at least that much time if not more. Westbrook will not play in Friday's final seeding game against the Philadelphia 76ers (9 ET, ESPN). He had an MRI on Wednesday that confirmed his injury.
Rockets expect Russell Westbrook to miss at least the start of the playoffs, source said. https://t.co/WrslB1EesE— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 13, 2020
Westbrook has been trying to play through the injury during the season restart. In a 110-102 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Aug. 4, he made just 5 of 12 free throws and finished with 15 points and nine assists; that snapped a streak of 36 straight games with at least 20 points. Westbrook missed the next two games with what was described as a right quadriceps contusion.
Per the Chronicle, Westbrook did not have any trouble with the injury during or immediately after Tuesday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He scored 20 points with six assists and five rebounds in that game.
"We'll see how he responds,” said Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, after Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. “We'll just see next week.”
These can be a difficult injury, especially for a player like Westbrook who performs with such force. Clearly, Westbrook is a unique individual with a proven capacity to play through physical adversity. In Bubble playoffs, less time between games -- essentially every other day. https://t.co/9lsPlMyD4w— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 13, 2020
Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists this season for Houston.
The Rockets are currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.