Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook 'Hopeful' for Hamstring Injury Return vs. T-Wolves

Adam WellsOctober 26, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 14: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on October 14, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Russell Westbrook's absence because of a hamstring injury may not keep him out for very long.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the nine-time All-Star is "hopeful" to return for Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Westbrook is officially listed as doubtful for Wednesday's contest vs. the Denver Nuggets, and Wojnarowski noted he is unlikely to play.

Westbrook injured his hamstring during the Lakers' final preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 14.

Despite the injury, he was back in the starting lineup for the season opener Oct. 18 against the Golden State Warriors. He told reporters after the game that the change in his normal routine played a role in his getting hurt.

"I've been doing the same thing for 14 years straight," Westbrook said. "Honestly, I didn't even know what to do pregame. Being honest, I was trying to figure out how to stay warm and loose. ... That's something I just wasn't accustomed to."

He said he could have gone back into the preseason contest against the Kings, but he "wasn't going to risk it" for an exhibition game.

Based on the early returns, it's not a surprise the Lakers would try to get Westbrook additional rest. The 33-year-old has made just 11 of his 38 field-goal attempts (28.9 percent), including one of 12 from three-point range, in three games.

The struggles for Westbrook are emblematic of many problems the Lakers are trying to figure out. Their offense ranks 29th in scoring average (103.3 points per game), last in rating (97.3) and last in field-goal percentage (40.7).

Los Angeles ranks sixth in the NBA in three-point attempts per game (39.3) but last in success rate (21.2 percent).

The Lakers are also playing without Dennis Schroder, who is recovering from thumb surgery. This likely means Austin Reaves will be the starting point guard Wednesday

Los Angeles will look to win its first game of the season against the Nuggets at Ball Arena.