Wizards

Westbrook reveals he tore his quad earlier this season

Wizards

Russell Westbrook was not himself earlier this season after suffering a quadriceps injury in training camp that was reaggravated early in the year. It affected his production, to the point he ended up sitting out about two weeks. He came back and slowly got healthier, now to where he is playing at a superstar level.

It turns out that injury was a torn quadriceps muscle. The severity of the tear, we do not know. Given he didn't need much time off and is playing the way he is now means it was likely very small.

But Westbrook revealed that piece of news after Monday's win over the Pacers.

"I think at the end of last season, there were a lot of conversations about whether I could play or not. But, to let everybody know, my quad was torn. And then, unfortunately, to start this season, I tore my other one. But I was playing through it and trying to compete for my guys and I had an opportunity to kind of rest and be ready to go," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's injury last summer with the Houston Rockets was reported as a quad strain, which can technically mean a tear. So, that part of the story isn't new.

But Westbrook's quad injury this season was described by the Wizards and head coach Scott Brooks as more like a bruise. Brooks pointed to Westbrook colliding with other players during games and the Wizards in their initial press release described it as "due to repeated contact to the area."

 

All of it was pretty vague, but what is clear is Westbrook is now 100 percent healthy and playing like it. On Monday against Indiana, he became the first player in NBA history to have at least 24 assists and 21 rebounds in a single game.

The Wizards have now won 13 of 16 games with him leading the way and are in a good position to qualify for the play-in tournament, now as the 10th seed and only a half-game behind the No. 9 Pacers.

"[The time off] allowed me to kind of be a level and a pace to where I know that I can play at consistently on a night in, night out basis. I'm in a good position health-wise and especially mentally-wise," Westbrook said.

Westbrook, 32, is averaging a triple-double with 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game, the rebounds and assists being career-highs.