It looks like Kevin Durant will have his wingman back at full strength when the Oklahoma City Thunder's 2013-14 campaign kicks off. That's right: KD expects Russell Westbrook to hit the ground running after offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus, per HoopsHype:
At a Nike&Foot Locker event in Barcelona (Spain), Kevin Durant said he expects Russell Westbrook to be ready for the start of the season.— Raúl Barrigón (@BarriHoopsHype) September 9, 2013
Durant spoke to the media at a promotional event in Barcelona, and you can tell by his apparel that he understands the importance of getting off to a fast start.
Yep, the T-shirt says "the time is now," which is an appropriate slogan for the Thunder as they look to seize the moment by making another run to the NBA Finals.
Durant knows how tough such a sprint would be without Westbrook; he struggled mightily after his running mate went down during the postseason. The Houston Rockets doubled up their defensive attention on Durant, and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks didn't have any answers (or any semblance of an offensive game plan).
OKC needs Westbrook to be at his best in order to compete against the NBA's elite teams. When he's relentlessly attacking the rim and pushing the pace, the Thunder are too athletic for most opponents to handle.
But the league saw how toothless the Thunder were without him.
According to Royce Young of CBS, Westbrook opted to have his meniscus completely repaired, rather than risk returning too soon after a less severe "clean-up" procedure. The typical time frame for surgeries like the one he underwent April 27 is about three months, so it's hardly a surprise that Westbrook will be ready to roll by Oct. 30.
Plus, the Vine he posted June 15 should have clued everyone in to the fact that he was getting healthy in a hurry.
Russell Westbrook is back.. https://t.co/1pQVyaNJps— Sports Vines (@TheSportsVines) July 15, 2013
Fortunately, Westbrook never got too bummed out about his injury. Maybe his upbeat attitude helped hasten the healing.
In fact, the OKC guard got himself into shape so quickly that he had plenty of time to squeeze in other activities during his summer break.
So, by the time the regular season rolls around, it appears that Westbrook will be fully healthy. Of course, it also looks like he's going to have a few more outside-the-box fashion ideas.
Closer shot of Russell Westbrook in his leather shirt, extra smedium in the shoulders http://t.co/GRoedWy5aN— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 25, 2013
Based on what we've seen from him to this point, I guess that qualifies as a mixed blessing.