Injury Notes: Westbrook, Kawhi, D. Wright, Thompson

After struggling during the Lakers‘ 0-3 start, point guard Russell Westbrook is unlikely to play in the team’s fourth game of the season on Wednesday in Denver. As Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, Westbrook has been listed as doubtful to play vs. the Nuggets due to a hamstring injury, which he sustained during the team’s preseason finale on October 14.

The injury didn’t stop Westbrook from suiting up for the last three games, but if it’s lingering at all, it makes sense for the Lakers to hold him out for a game or two, not only to ensure he gets 100% healthy but also to give him a respite from the criticism he has faced in the early part of the 2022/23 season.

Here are a few more health-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Clippers star Kawhi Leonard experienced some stiffness in his surgically repaired right knee and was held out of the team’s loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, who adds that Leonard has also been ruled out for the rematch between the two teams on Thursday. Head coach Tyronn Lue didn’t classify it as a setback for Leonard. “We want to be cautious, make sure we’re doing the right thing by him, even though he wanted to play,” Lue said. We just thought it wasn’t smart. He can be mad at us if he wants to but just not smart right now.”
  • Wizards guard Delon Wright left Tuesday’s game with what head coach Wes Unseld Jr. referred to as hamstring tightness, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Unseld wasn’t sure after the game about the severity of the injury or if it would require Wright to miss any additional time.
  • After tearing his ACL in 2019 and his Achilles in 2020, Warriors star Klay Thompson entered this season coming off a healthy summer, but he has still required a ramp-up process and a minutes restriction in the early going as he improves his conditioning, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “I’m such a perfectionist, I want to be great right now,” Thompson said. “But I got to realize, man, it’s a long season. I’d rather peak come playoff time rather than early November or into January.”
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