Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was parked on the bench during the Rockets’ Game 4 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. He continues to deal with a strained right quadriceps, but may soon be able to get into the series mix for Houston.
Westbrook, expected to be upgraded to questionable for Game 5 against Oklahoma City, has been made “available” writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Earlier Friday, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters there were no decisions on any playing-time restrictions.
Rockets list Westbrook as "available." Luc Mbah a Moute remains out. https://t.co/J6f5TSC1ub
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 28, 2020
The news was first reported by Mark Berman of KRIV-TV in Houston.
In a bit of encouraging news for the Rockets, Westbrook went through full-speed, 5-on-5 action on Thursday and looked “as explosive as ever,” per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski. That marked his first action since being diagnosed with the quadriceps injury.
D’Antoni told reporters Tuesday that Westbrook is day-to-day with his quadriceps injury and he would not rule him out for the rest of the series.
“Not going to rule anything out or anything in,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see.”
Additionally, D’Antoni told reporters it’s up to the medical staff to decide when Westbrook is good to return.
Obviously, how Westbrook moves and looks at practice today and how he feels after and again tomorrow will go a long way toward answering if, when he can return and cannot be known yet. https://t.co/jaz2SK39Xi
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 25, 2020
Oklahoma City’s win tied the series 2-2, with Game 5 set for Wednesday night (6:30 ET, TNT). Westbrook was ruled out for the start of first-round shortly after the seeding games portion of the 2019-20 season restart ended.
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.
Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists this season for Houston.