The Houston Rockets held an instrasquad 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.
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 due to players protesting racial injustice issues.
Teams – including the Rockets – are awaiting word from the league office that playoff games will resume Saturday.
Westbrook, who was a late arrival to the NBA’s Walt Disney World Resort campus 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.
A nine-time All-Star acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Thunder last summer, Westbrook has averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in his first season with the Rockets.