Kevin Durant has earmarked fellow OKC teammate Russell Westbrook to make his long awaited return to the court against the Miami Heat, Thursday.
Westbrook last appeared for the Thunder on Christmas day against the New York Knicks and has missed the last 27 consecutive games after undergoing ankle surgery.
But Durant, asked by Bill Simmons Monday when he thought Westbrook return, was fairly adamant that the point guard would feature against the Miami Heat this week:
"Next game. Right after the All-Star break against Miami," said Durant.
OKC have coped well in the three-time All-Star's absence, with the likes of Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb stepping up to help the franchise maintain their good form.
Kevin Durant has also excelled during the period, continuing his one-man mission to wrestle the MVP award away from LeBron James.
But the return of Westbrook will undoubtedly boost the team. And coming as the franchise prepare for the match up against the reigning NBA champions, it is perfect timing.
With 27 games remaining of their regular-season schedule, there is also plenty of time for Westbrook to regain fitness and sharpness ahead of the playoffs.
The Thunder take on the Heat at the Chesapeake Energy Arena Thursday night, tip-off time 8 PM E.T.