The Houston Rockets held an intrasquad scrimmage Thursday to get All-Star guard Russell Westbrook his first full-speed, 5-on-5 action since he was diagnosed with a strained right quadriceps, sources told ESPN.
“He looked as explosive as ever,” a source said.
Barring any setbacks, there’s an expectation that he will be ready to return for Game 5.
Westbrook missed the first four games of the Rockets’ series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, his former team. With the series tied, he planned to test the quadriceps pregame in an attempt to play in Game 5 Wednesday, but NBA games were postponed because of players protesting racial injustice.
Teams are awaiting word from the league office that playoff games will resume Saturday.
Westbrook, a late arrival to the NBA’s Walt Disney World Resort campus in Florida because he tested positive for COVID-19, felt soreness in his right quadriceps after the Rockets’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Aug. 4. He sat out the next two games because of what the team originally deemed a right quad contusion.
Westbrook played 28 minutes in Houston’s Aug. 11 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, recording 20 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. The Rockets announced the next day that an MRI had revealed that Westbrook had a strained muscle in his quad, and he has not played since.
Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in his first season with the Rockets. Westbrook joined Houston in a blockbuster trade with Oklahoma City last summer.