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Russell Westbrook ready to play for Thunder

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November 3, 2013 04:59 PM EST | AP


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder sooner than expected, and will be available to play Sunday night against Phoenix.

Westbrook hasn't played since tearing knee cartilage during the second game of last season's playoffs. General Manager Sam Presti said Sunday that Westbrook has met the requirements for his return.

Westbrook first underwent surgery April 27 and again on Oct. 1 to remove a loose stitch from the first operation.

At the time, the Thunder said he would miss the first four to six weeks of the season. Instead, he missed only two games — a win at Utah on Wednesday and a loss at Minnesota on Friday.