Westbrook set to return for Thunder against Heat

BY foxsports • February 20, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will play Thursday night against the Miami Heat.

Westbrook, who has been out since Christmas Day, will be available against the defending NBA champions, according to a press release issued by the team.

"We are all very excited to have Russell back," General manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "He has worked extremely hard throughout his rehabilitation, and his addition will allow us to build on the progress we have made in his absence. As Russell integrates back into the team, we are going to manage the transition by building his minutes over time and will evaluate his availability in back-to-back situations. These steps are an effort to control the areas of his return to play where feasible, given the reduced practice and conditioning time during the regular season. Our goal is to create the best foundation for Russell and the team as we head into the postseason."

The release did not say whether Westbrook would start. On Wednesday, coach Scott Brooks said he was waiting to see how Westbrook felt on gameday before making a decision.

One day ago, Westbrook completed his first full practice with the team since his third knee surgery on Dec. 27. Westbrook also participated in the team's Thursday shootaround in Oklahoma City.

Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK

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