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Westbrook bullish on Derrick Rose
by Sam Smith
Posted on Mar 17
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Derrick Rose remains out this season after a torn medial meniscus, a similar injury which Thunder guard Russell Westbrook suffered last spring when he tore his lateral meniscus. Westbrook subsequently had swelling and had arthroscopic surgery this season. Though he’s playing one game of back to backs, Westbrook started Monday against the Bulls and didn’t want to hear that he’s not at full strength.
Perhaps without quite the attitude, you might expect the same confidence from Rose when he returns from his injury next season.
Asked before Monday’s game whether he was back to his old self, Westbrook, who is averaging 27 points his last four games, shot back: “You think I’m back to my old self now?”
A reporter, a bit flummoxed, stammered: “Well, you have a little rust.”
“Where?” demanded Westbrook.
Yes, Westbrook speaks just like he plays, with an uninhibited fury.
But he’s also as confident about the return of Rose, with whom he works out with in the summers, as his own recovery and return.
“Very confident,” Westbrook said when asked about Rose’s return. “I’ve talked to him numerous times. He’s a tough guy, as you guys know. He does a good job of coming out competing. It’s unfortunate he had to be hurt and out another year. But he’s going to come back the same D Rose he was before.
“Just being confident,” Westbrook said about coming back from the injury. “You have to have confidence in yourself and health and knowing the rehab and all the work you put in has paid off. Obviously (rehabilitation) is a tough process. But it’s something I have to deal with and something that’s best for my health and for my future.
“All I can worry about is what I’m doing now,” said Westbrook about limited playing time. “As for next year, I’ll worry about that when next year comes. I feel great (now). If I didn’t feel the same energy and strength in my legs, I wouldn’t play.”
Westbrook added he doesn’t scrimmage in the summers and doesn’t think Rose needs to as well.
“We used to do one-on-one and two-on-two and things like that,” said Westbrook. “But not much scrimmaging. We get enough of that throughout the year, especially Derrick. Derrick plays a lot and has to do a lot for his team. I don’t think it’s much needed in the summertime.”
Added Kevin Durant: “I’m very confident he’s going to come back. He works extremely hard and the medical staffs that we have in this league, around this country, are so advanced that he’s definitely going to get the right treatment. I’m confident he’s going to come back and I’m sure the organization, the Bulls organization, the Bulls’ fans, are confident, as well.”