The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook for their opening game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
Westbrook is recovering from arthroscopic surgery he had on his right knee in September and the game against Golden State has come too soon for him.
German point guard Dennis Schroder will start in Westbrook’s absence.
Westbrook averaged a triple double last season with 25.4 points per game (seventh in the NBA), 10.3 assists (first) and 10.1 rebounds (10th).
The Thunder also have injury concerns at centre where Steven Adams, who has a back injury, will be a game-time decision.
If Adams cannot play, it will likely mean extended action for free agent signing Nerlens Noel.
Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said of Noel: “Overall, I think he’s done a really good job. He’s worked hard. He’s trying to get better. Obviously he has great hands. He’s athletic. He has good vision. He adds a different dimension to our team.”
After Tuesday’s game, the Thunder will travel to Los Angeles for a Friday night matchup against the Clippers.