Donovan: Russ progressing after knee surgery, not cleared for full contact
Russ Isabella / USA TODAY Sports

While Russell Westbrook's availability for opening night remains unclear, the Oklahoma City Thunder are satisfied with the positive strides he's making following arthroscopic knee surgery last month.

"Every day for him, he feels better and better," said head coach Billy Donovan on Thursday, adding that Westbrook is "progressing" and getting closer to a return, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "I don't want to say (if he'll be ready). I know you guys want to know that, but that's too far out and there will be a lot of things that will go into that decision.

"There's certain things he'll have to go through to get himself fully cleared to play, but he's certainly moving in the right direction and he's worked really hard at his rehab to get himself back."

Westbrook's latest scope marked the fourth time he's had a procedure done on his right knee, but the first in nearly five years. Donovan noted Thursday that the 29-year-old point guard has been participating in "controlled contact" portions of practices, but needs to progress further before getting the thumbs up to play.

"He's been in controlled situations that the medical staff has allowed him to do," Donovan said. "And hopefully with the way he responds physically after going through a workout, they'll be able to add a little bit more and more."

Westbrook averaged 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 10.3 assists for the 48-win Thunder in 2017-18, averaging a triple-double for the second straight year.

Oklahoma City opens its regular season on the road at Oracle Arena against the reigning two-time champion Golden State Warriors on Oct. 16.

Donovan: Russ progressing after knee surgery, not cleared for full contact
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