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Russell Westbrook still not cleared for full practice
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oh, no.
This isn't good. Not good at all.
All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who missed all but two of the Thunder's playoff games a season ago, may – or may not – be ready when the Thunder tip-off the season next month.
The Thunder held their annual media day Friday in Oklahoma City but earlier in the week general manager Sam Presti said there is no timetable for his return.
Westbrook has not been cleared for full practice yet, according to Presti. The Thunder will start training camp Saturday in Oklahoma City.
"I wouldn't say he will be and I wouldn't say he won't be," Presti said of Westbrook's status. "Again, we've got to see how the next month goes. Beyond that, I'm just projecting on things I have no business projecting on. Russell will be ready to go once he's cleared. This is an important player for us, not only this year, but for many year down the line."
Well, it's a certainty the Thunder are not the same time without him. With Westbrook, the Thunder went to the Finals in 2012. Without him, Kevin Durant struggled to carry the team on his own and the Thunder lost in the second round of the playoffs in five games to Memphis.
For now, Presti seemed wary about saying when and how Wsetbrook will be when he comes back.
"We're very hesitant to give a specific timetable because when you're dealing with an injury and recovery time, everybody is different," Presti said. "I think we're in a position where we have to be thoughtful about the positions we put him in, and he has to do the same thing. Until he's given that clearance, we're going to be very cautious and make sure that he's going to be successful going forward. It's very hard for me to say a specific date"
The Thunder open the regular season on Oct. 30 at Utah.