Westbrook sprained his left ankle late in the third quarter jumping for a rebound. After letting out a scream and slapping the floor, Westbrook limped straight to the locker room and did not return. X-rays were negative and after further evaluation Tuesday, it was confirmed it was nothing more than an ankle sprain that looked worse than it actually is.
“Russ has a pretty high pain tolerance, so I knew it was something that was serious,” Paul George said. “I was just hoping it wasn’t his knee. I thought I saw him holding his knee. I think we can all say it’s unfortunate, we can all say as bad as it was, we’re happy it wasn’t the knee and that it was just an ankle sprain.”
Westbrook traveled with the team to Cleveland and will be evaluated again Thursday to see how he feels, and his status will likely be updated on a game-by-game basis. The Thunder, who have won five straight, play the Rockets on Thursday in OKC. However, considering it’s a back-to-back and the Thunder won’t hold a shootaround or practice before the game, Westbrook and the Thunder will probably lean conservatively on returning for that game with an eye more toward Dallas on Saturday, or Phoenix next week.
Westbrook, 29, is averaging 24.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in seven games this season. He missed the Thunder’s first two games after having arthroscopic knee surgery in September.