Westbrook, Bryant working their way back
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
Some of the league’s biggest stars who were injured for most or all of last season have returned. But there are still several guys working their way back. Here’s a quick look at some of them.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
One of the few players who can keep pace with Rose in a dribbling footrace certainly can’t at the moment, as Westbrook is expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 1.
This was a brutal blow for the Thunder, who lost their speedy point guard to a meniscus tear in the same knee in the first round of the playoffs five months ago and must now survive without him until mid-December.
Kobe Bryant, Lakers – There’s no timetable for Bryant’s return from the Achilles tear he suffered on April 12, but – Kobe being Kobe – don’t count him out for the regular season opener just yet. He said in an early September interview that he was hopeful to be on the floor when the games started counting again, but that much remains to be seen. In the interim, Bryant made his bi-annual trip to Germany to receive platelet-rich plasma therapy injections in his right knee. His fight against Father Time continues.
Bryant’s initial timeline was six to nine months for a full recovery. But as fellow Achilles tear victim Dominique Wilkins told USA TODAY Sports at the time, the notion of Bryant being ready at the start of the regular season is extremely “quick.”
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics – Behold the cursed point guard class of this NBA generation. Rondo, the four-time All-Star who had surgery to repair his torn ACL in mid-February, is not expected to be ready for the Celtics’ regular season opener (Oct. 30 at Toronto). He is, however, back on the court and nearing a full return to form. No timetable has been given, but the Boston Globe hinted recently that he may be out until December.
The question once he’s back to his old playmaking self is whether he’ll … [For more on Westbrook and Kobe are top NBA guys working way back, click here.]