Feb 11, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) smiles at the end of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook injury update: OKC Thunder hopeful he’ll return for Miami Heat game

Over the weekend, another update on the progress of Russell Westbrook’s recovery came out.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are hopeful that injured guard Russell Westbrook will return for Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat, a source to Yahoo Sports.

This is what we’ve been hearing for a few weeks now, that the Thunder have been eyeing this date and this game for Westbrook to return.

Originally, we knew the Thunder set the timetable for Westbrook to return after the All-Star Break. Against Miami on Thursday will be the Thunder’s first game since the break.

Westbrook came back earlier than expected last time and I have the feeling that this time, the Thunder wanted to make sure they kept him out for the full duration of the timetable even if Westbrook was once again making good progress and appeared to be at 100 percent before the end of the timetable.

It also didn’t hurt that the Thunder were able to soar to the top of the Western Conference standings without him.

The Thunder are 22-8 without Westbrook in the lineup this season and 21-4 with him in it.

The Thunder beat the Heat 112-95 the first time they played this season in Miami, but the game was still a struggle for OKC for the most part. They made a franchise-record 16 three-pointers in the game and Miami uncharacteristically turned the ball over 20 times.

There’s no question that the Thunder need Westbrook going forward to reach their potential. They’ll need to reach their potential to beat the Heat in a series.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook

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