Clippers’ Point Guard Russell Westbrook Expected to Return to Action Next Week

Russell Westbrook at the ESPY Awards in 2017
Russell Westbrook at the ESPY Awards in 2017. Photo by Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock (8957355es)

The Los Angeles Clippers are getting a much-needed boost as they attempt to avoid sliding down the Western Conference standings. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers veteran guard Russell Westbrook is set to return to action next week after previously being sidelined due to hand surgery.

Westbrook suffered a hand fracture in a 140-115 win over the Washington Wizards on March 1. He underwent surgery the next day and was initially expected to four weeks. But it appears that the former NBA MVP recovered earlier than expected and could be back on the court as soon as Monday when the Clippers face the Indiana Pacers.

Westbrook has been one of the key bench contributors for the Clippers this season. In 58 games before the injury, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while playing just 22.6 minutes per contest.

In 11 games without Westbrook, the Clippers have been playing hot and cold and went 6-5. They were also hit with a number of other injuries, with Norman Powell, another important bench player, currently being out with a lower leg issue.

After flirting with the No. 1 seed in the West earlier this season, the Clippers have now dropped to the fourth place in the standings. They are currently sitting at a 44-25 record with just 1.5 games in front of the fifth-placed New Orleans Pelicans.