Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook revealed in a social media post Monday that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine.
Via a post issued on Twitter and Instagram, Westbrook wrote: “I tested positive for COVID-19 prior to my team’s departure to Orlando. I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you for all the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!”
Houston participated in their second practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort without Westbrook, James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute. Mbah a Moute 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 declined 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.
“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.”
D’Antoni is scheduled to address the media on a Zoom session after a light practice on Monday as the Rockets prep to participate in scrimmage games later in the week.
Westbrook is in his first season with the Rockets after spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The former Kia MVP winner 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.
Houston has clinched a playoff spot and will open its scrimmage schedule on July 24 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Rockets resume their season with the first of eight seeding games on July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Information from NBA.com’s Michael C. Wright and The Associated Press were used in this report.