Russell Westbrook clears protocol, ‘thankful’ after recovery from coronavirus
Russell Westbrook has cleared the NBA’s quarantine protocol after testing positive for the coronavirus, and the superstar is now allowed to join the Houston Rockets at the Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Westbrook arrived in Orlando, Fla., on Monday after twice testing negative for COVID-19. While the Rockets star was asymptomatic “other than a stuffy nose,” he said Wednesday he is “thankful and blessed” to be able to join his teammates following the events of the past few weeks.
“I’ve been at home, trying to be productive,” Westbrook said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Obviously, not able to get on the basketball floor, but finding ways to stay active, doing as much conditioning as I can probably do. We’ll see [the conditioning level] when I get out there, but that’s the last thing that I worry about. I’m in pretty good shape, so I should be all right.”
Westbrook previously revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 following the July 4 weekend. Interestingly enough, the time of his diagnosis was just a few weeks after Westbrook was spotted in Las Vegas not wearing a mask or adhering to social-distancing guidelines.
With his coronavirus experience behind him, Westbrook is expected to participate in the Rockets’ scrimmage against the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has the expectation that Westbrook will take part in “at least 80%” of the scrimmage, but “whatever he wants is cool.”
The Rockets obviously need Westbrook playing at his full potential alongside James Harden if the team hopes to make a deep postseason run. With the resumption of NBA play scheduled for July 30, Westbrook has just over a week to knock off the off-court rust accumulated over the past few months, even with his at-home conditioning workout.
“I don’t have a feel for if I can make a layup at this point,” Westbrook said. “I’ve got to start there first. Once I start there, I’ll make my way from there.”