WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook is expected to sit out a week with an injured left leg, the latest blow to a team that entered Monday with a 2-8 record.
The Wizards announced before Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns that Westbrook’s left quadriceps was hurt because of “repeated contact to the area since the beginning of the season.”
The team said the 2016-17 MVP and nine-time All-NBA selection would be re-evaluated at the end of the week. Washington is scheduled to play five games through next Monday.
“He got hit pretty bad in his quad in training camp,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said before Monday’s game with Phoenix. “And the thing about him is, he’s as tough as nails. He as tough a competitor I’ve ever been around as a player and as a coach, and it’s bothered him. He pushed through it with the treatments and the padding, but he’s never made an excuse, not even to me.”
Westbrook, acquired shortly before the preseason in the trade that sent John Wall to the Houston Rockets, is averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 assists and 9.7 rebounds through seven games with the Wizards, including four triple-doubles. He is shooting 37.8% so far.
“He knows he can play better,” Brooks said. “He was starting to get better. Then, he hit it again, set him back a little bit.”
Brooks said Westbrook aggravated the injury on Jan. 6 at Philadelphia, and he’s also been playing with a dislocated finger.
The update on Westbrook came a day after the Wizards said center Thomas Bryant has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Bryant is likely to miss the rest of the season. He was one of only two players who started each of Washington’s first 10 games.
He was injured in the first quarter of a 128-124 loss to the visiting Miami Heat on Saturday.
That was Washington’s third consecutive defeat overall. Brooks’ team is 0-5 at home this season.
Bradley Beal, who leads the NBA in scoring at 35.0 points per game, returned to the lineup Monday after missing Saturday’s game because of COVID-19 protocols.
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