Rockets Westbrook tests positive of covid-19

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook shed some light Monday regarding his absence from the team at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort by revealing he tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the club’s departure for Orlando, Fla.

Westbrook posted the revelation to Twitter and Instagram.

“I tested positive for Covid-19 prior to my team’s departure to Orlando,” Westbrook wrote. “I’m currently feeling well, quarantined and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you all for the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!”

Houston participated in their second practice at the Walt Disney World bubbled without Westbrook, James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute, who is in his second stint with the Rockets after signing with the team on Jul. 7.

The team and coach Mike D’Antoni over the weekend had refused to discuss specifics regarding the absence of Houston’s players, saying only that they were all working out on their own and expected to rejoin the team sometime this week.

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“These are things that people are dealing with,” D’Antoni said on Sunday in a Zoom session with reporters. “We’re not going to get into why not. They’re on their way. We’re still expecting them in a few days. It will be soon. It’s not going to be long. You never know, but we think we’ll get them back in here by the middle of the week.”

The statuses of Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute remain unknown, and it’s still not clear exactly where Westbrook is in the league’s COVID-19 testing protocol.

Per the NBA’s protocol, Westbrook would be tested daily. When Westbrook produces two negative tests, he can join the team at Walt Disney World. Upon arrival, Westbrook would then need to undergo additional COVID-19 testing and an additional two-day self-quarantine.

“They’ll be ready to go five-on-five when they get in here,” D’Antoni said. “It would be nice to have everybody. But everybody’s dealing with trying to do the best you can. I don’t think by the time the eight games are over there (will) be any effect.”

Westbrook, the Kia MVP winner in 2016-17, is averaging 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game with Houston. The Rockets are 40-24 and the current No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.

The Rockets open their NBA restart calendar on Aug. 31 versus the Dallas Mavericks.

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