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May 10, 2013

Westbrook leading Thunder from the sidelines

Rehab a new experience for All-Star guard

OKLAHOMA CITY — One of Russell Westbrook’s greatest strengths is his endless supply of energy. Whenever the Oklahoma City guard is on the court, he seems like he’s bouncing off walls, ready to make something happen.

These days, Westbrook is a little more subdued. The all-star guard spends most of his days watching movies and expects to be on crutches for at least another month. With his team facing Memphis in the Western Conference semifinals, it’s not where he envisioned himself being.

“Waking up from surgery was a little weird, because I can just remember going to the hospital and then I just remember my mom sitting there when I woke up,” Westbrook said. “That’s the only thing that hits you, like ‘dang, I’m sitting in this bed with this surgery and my knee is messed up and I really can’t do much.’”

Westbrook met with the media Thursday for the first time since having surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee, which he injured April 24 in Game 2 of the Thunder’s first-round playoff series with Houston. He talked on a wide range of topics, including his emotions after the season-ending collision with Patrick Beverley.

“It was stressful,” Westbrook said. “Definitely after the game my knee was hurting. When I got home, it was hurting. The morning after, it was hurting. Getting an MRI is always scary because it’s always something. I feel like every time somebody gets an MRI they always come back with some bad news. So it was stressful, and once I got the MRI, then things got real. I had to figure out what I needed to do.”

Westbrook said he knew something was wrong immediately, but he still played the rest of the game in severe pain.

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