The Rockets announced some good news on Wednesday, as Russell Westbrook participated in his first summer practice after clearing quarantine, while Luc Mbah a Moute has been cleared to travel and should arrive soon at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus.
As Tim MacMahon of ESPN reports, Westbrook spoke to reporters before Houston’s Wednesday practice, indicating that he’s “thankful and blessed” to be able to get back on the court after recovering from the coronavirus. Westbrook, who said he only experienced very minor COVID-19 symptoms, added that he was able to do conditioning workouts at home while quarantined.
According to MacMahon, head coach Mike D’Antoni said today that Westbrook may play in the Rockets’ first scrimmage on Friday against Toronto, though that hasn’t been decided yet.
“Whatever he wants is cool,” D’Antoni said. “He knows his body. Again, we’re not talking about just a normal athlete. We’re talking about a super athlete, and I sometimes underestimate it. I know today I might have a hard time getting through practice, but he might not have any problem. We rely on him and the medical staff to make an informed decision, and whatever that decision is, we’ll go with it.”
Meanwhile, D’Antoni also provided an update on Mbah a Moute, indicating that the veteran forward could arrive in Orlando as soon as Wednesday (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).
The Rockets signed Mbah a Moute as a substitute player for Thabo Sefolosha, but his arrival has been delayed by a couple weeks, reducing the likelihood that he’ll earn regular minutes once the seeding games begin next week.
One thought on “Westbrook Returns To Practice, Mbah A Moute Cleared To Travel”
Sefolosha wasn’t getting regular minutes anyway, at least when everyone was available earlier in the season. Now that Eric Gordon is nearly 100% after having 4 months off, the team will finally be at full strength once Westbrook shakes off the rust later this week. Mbah a Moute can only be an upgrade over Sefolosha once he joins the team since he has the size to be an effective backup at the five. They can really use another good defender up front to go with Tucker and Covington, even if it’s just for 10 minutes per game.