Russell Westbrook Expects Derrick Rose to Be the Same Player When He Returns

by March 18, 2014

Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook have been offseason workout partners for years, and Westbrook – who’s had his own knee problems – thinks Rose will soon get back to being his old, explosive self. Per the Chicago Tribune:

“He’s a tough guy,” said Westbrook, the Thunder’s All-Star guard. “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.”

Westbrook has endured two post-surgical procedures and missed 31 games this season. He also is sitting out half of back-to-back games, playing Monday after missing the Thunder’s home loss to the Mavericks on Sunday.

“It’s tough, but at the same time I have to do what’s right for my body and for my health,” Westbrook said.

When he plays, Westbrook has shined. He entered averaging 21.5 points, 7.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds and finished with 17 points against the Bulls. Westbrook took exception to a question about showing rust, responding with a curt, “Where?”

“I feel great,” he said. “If I didn’t feel the same energy and strength in my legs, I wouldn’t play.”