Russell Westbrook isn’t making any promises about when he’ll be back on the basketball court. But the All-Star point guard does offer something of a guarantee for whenever that day might be.
“I’m going to come back and be better,” Westbrook said matter-of-factly Monday, with the same unshakable swagger he’s always shown.
As excitement builds over Saturday’s start to training camp, Westbrook is eagerly anticipating his long-awaited return from the knee injury that cut short his 2013 postseason.
Westbrook has not yet been cleared to resume full basketball activities, and neither him nor team officials are providing a timetable for when that final obstacle will be overcome.
“We expect him to take part in parts of camp and work his way through different parts until he’s ultimately cleared for unrestricted activity,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “But it’s all going to be contingent upon how his body reacts to the additional load that he’ll be carrying.”
Westbrook spent much of his summer months preparing his body for a comeback. He remained in Oklahoma City for long stretches, at the team’s training facility with a singular focus — strengthening his leg. When he traveled he journeyed with training partners or made appointments with physical therapists.
“I tried taking it one day at a time and not (worry about) the timetable,” Westbrook said. “Just take it one day at a time and try to find a way to strengthen myself and make sure I’m ready to go when it’s time.”