NBA

Coronavirus: Westbrook cleared for Rockets practice after COVID-19 diagnosis

By Sports Desk July 22, 2020

Houston Rockets star guard Russell Westbrook was on Wednesday cleared to practice for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19.

Westbrook arrived at the NBA bubble near Orlando, Florida on Monday following two negative tests after announcing last week he had contracted the virus. 

"First of all, I'm just thankful and blessed to be able to go out and compete again," the 2017 MVP said while wearing a mask before Wednesday's practice.

"But, just quarantining at home, trying to be productive, obviously not able to get on the basketball floor, but finding ways to kind of stay active and do as much conditioning as I can probably do as far as that." 

Westbrook said he was in good shape before needing to quarantine, and his only symptom was a stuffy nose. 

Although he was able to still do some exercise while self-isolating, the nine-time All-Star urged everyone to take the proper safety precautions to protect themselves against the virus. 

"I'm not a doctor nor a specialist, but I do know that it's definitely something to take very seriously," he said. "To understand that wearing a mask can be [the difference] between life or death honestly ... there are people dying from this virus each and every day and it's something that we all need to take very, very seriously." 

In his first season with Houston after arriving from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 31-year-old Westbrook was averaging 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists prior the league being halted. 

The Rockets will resume their season against the Dallas Mavericks on July 31 and play their first exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday. 

It is possible Westbrook could play in the first scrimmage if he and the team's medical staff determine he is healthy enough. 

Shaking off the rust, however, is Westbrook's top priority at the moment. 

"I have to see if I can make a layup at this point," he joked. "I got to start there and work my way from there."

Related items

  • Curry talks Klay injury: The end for us? We're ready to chase the Lakers! Curry talks Klay injury: The end for us? We're ready to chase the Lakers!

    Steph Curry insists the Golden State Warriors are ready to adapt to their new role "chasing" the Los Angeles Lakers despite Klay Thompson's latest season-ending injury.

    The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, winning three titles, but slumped to a 15-50 record at the bottom of the West in 2019-20.

    Golden State lost Thompson and Kevin Durant to long-term setbacks in their Finals defeat the previous season, before the latter departed for the Brooklyn Nets.

    Curry's own injuries limited him to just five games last term as Thompson sat out the entire season and the team suffered.

    The Warriors were expected to return to contention this season, challenging the champion Lakers, but Thompson will again be absent due to a major Achilles blow.

    Talk of writing off another campaign is premature, however, according to Curry.

    The two-time MVP told ESPN's The Undefeated: "We've been waiting seven months to get back out there.

    "Not seeing [Thompson] on the court, at first, is going to be weird. But I think we've done a really good job in the offseason with James [Wiseman, the second overall pick] and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster.

    "We're going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.

    "We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It's kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is - don't get me wrong - but we hear the chatter. 'It's the end for us', 'This year is a wash', 'What are we going to do in the future?'.

    "But we are in the moment right now.

    "It's kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Lakers] are the defending champs. We've got to beat them. We're ready for it."

    Curry described news of Thompson's new injury as "a gut punch, for sure" and said it prompted "a lot of tears".

    But Golden State are hoping to eventually welcome back the five-time All-Star who Curry still considers the best shooting guard in the league.

    "He can come back strong. He's a guy that loves the game so much," Curry said. "He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself.

    "That's what we hope and that's the confidence that we have. Two and a half years of rehab is tough for anybody. But we're hoping for the best."

  • DeMarcus Cousins reportedly agrees to deal with Rockets DeMarcus Cousins reportedly agrees to deal with Rockets

    DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets.

    Hit by injuries in recent years, the four-time All-Star will try to revive his career in Houston, ESPN reported on Monday.

    Cousins, 30, has played just 78 regular-season and eight playoff games since the start of 2017-18 following numerous injuries.

    The center ruptured his left Achilles in early 2018 while with the New Orleans Pelicans before joining the Golden State Warriors later that year.

    Cousins tore his left quadriceps late in the 2018-19 season, but did return as the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

    He signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers last year, but tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in August and was waived in February 2020.

    The Lakers went on to win the NBA championship last month.

    Cousins has averaged 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the regular season during an NBA career that started with the Sacramento Kings in 2010.

    Houston have made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, but are seemingly set for a rebuild with James Harden and Russell Westbrook reportedly seeking trades.

  • Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reinier tests positive for coronavirus Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reinier tests positive for coronavirus

    Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reinier has tested positive for coronavirus, the German club have announced.

    The 18-year-old, who joined Dortmund on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid in August, underwent PCR tests for COVID-19 upon his return from international duty with Brazil Under-23s last week.

    Reinier was not part of Dortmund's squad for their Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin at the weekend and no other BVB players have tested positive.

    Dortmund confirmed the news on Monday, a day before their Champions League match with Club Brugge, and added that the teenager is asymptomatic and is now self-isolating.

    He has been used seven times by Lucien Favre, each of those appearances coming from the bench.

    Reinier, who won the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores with Flamengo in 2019, has yet to score, assist or create a chance in his three Bundesliga outings and has managed just one shot.

    Tuesday's meeting with Brugge is the first of three home games in a row for Dortmund, with Koln and Lazio to come in the next nine days.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.