Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook Suffers a Left Ankle Sprain
(Photo: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
During Monday's game between Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was injured after he went down on the side of his left ankle.
Reports from one of the team spokesman revealed that it was a sprain. Shortly after falling down, Westbrook pounded the ground in frustration before limping off the court. However, at the end of the game, Thunder led 84-77 with 4:25 left in the third quarter when he left the game.
The injury cost Westbrook a lot now that he missed the preseason and the first two games of the regular season after having a procedure on his right knee.
As we speak, Westbrook has averaged a triple-double for the past two seasons and was the league MVP in 2016-17. When he entered this game, he was averaging 25.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists.
After the injury happened, Westbrook underwent X-rays and they were negative. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said the severity of the sprain was unknown and that the team will have a better idea on Tuesday.
The injury took place while Westbrook was leaping for a rebound against Anthony Davis, that's when he came down awkwardly, rolling over in pain before slapping the floor. He got up and limped immediately to the locker room with help from trainers.
"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."
Reports indicate that the Thunder will not practice on Tuesday before leaving to play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. As a result, it's unlikely that the team will update Westbrook's status until the day of the game.
As the energy dropped in the building, the Pelicans quickly hit the Thunder for a 7-0 run, but OKC responded by finishing the third quarter on a 16-4 burst to take a 14-point lead headed to the fourth. Dennis Schroder scored 11 of his 22 in the fourth quarter, taking over for Westbrook as the Thunder's primary playmaker as OKC won its fifth straight 122-116.
"Regardless of the stride, it's just s--- that you lose a player regardless -- it has nothing to do with winning or losing," Steven Adams said of Westbrook getting hurt just when OKC was starting to roll. "That's your boy."
Adams added: "It's just s---. Just reals---. Feels bad. Sums it up. Feels real bad." Westbrook finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists in 25 minutes. George led the Thunder with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals, while Adams added 18 points and 8 rebounds.