Victor Oladipo injured his right wrist when he took a hard fall to the court during the Thunder’s December 11 game against Boston, and hasn’t played since then, with the team losing three of its four games in his absence. According to head coach Billy Donovan, Oladipo still “can’t do anything with his right hand right now,” but he won’t need to go under the knife to fix the problem, per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman.
“Based on the MRI he went through, based on our medical team consulting with the doctor, there’s no need for surgery,” Donovan said. “He’s got swelling. He’s got discomfort. He has a lack of mobility. He has pain when he’s in certain positions. … My understanding is that if he really forces this thing and tries to come back too fast, it could be something that’s going to be prolonged.”
As the Thunder wait for one of their primary backcourt playmakers to get healthy, they also may getting closer to welcoming back another. A weekend report indicated that Cameron Payne, who has yet to make his 2016/17 debut due to a broken foot, has a chance to return before the end of the calendar year, perhaps on December 29 against his hometown Grizzlies. However, Donovan responded to that report by telling reporters, including Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman, that there’s still no specific timetable for Payne’s return.
“I’ve not heard [that Payne will debut on December 29] or anything else like that, and I know that our medical staff wouldn’t do that, because there’s steps that he has to go through in order ever to be cleared to play,” Donovan said on Sunday, per Dawson. “He’s at a point where he’s doing more. Certainly he’s feeling fine. I think that the recovery and rehabilitation is going well. There’s been no setbacks to where we want him to be.”
With Oladipo and Payne out of the lineup, the Thunder have been leaning even more heavily on Russell Westbrook, who poured in 46 points on Monday night after recording a triple-double with 22 assists on Saturday.