The struggling Oklahoma City Thunder may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as their two best players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, may be rejoining the squad as early as Friday, after they both returned to practicing with the team on Monday.
In the absence of both Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder have played their way to the second worse winning percentage in the NBA, accumulating a 3-12 record with much of the season yet to go.
Kevin Durant is still in the midst of recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, while Westbrook is looking to come back from a broken hand.
While there is a chance that both of the Thunder stars returning on Friday, it is far more likely that only Westbrook will be able to return on Friday.
The return of Durant and Westbrook could not possibly come at a better time for the Thunder, who need as big a boost as possible. The sooner the Thunder get their two star players back on the court, the sooner the team can look at trying to get their team back into playoff picture and eventually compete for a shot at the Finals.
The loss of both Durant and Westbrook has been a major obstacle that the Thunder have been unable to overcome. Without the play of the reigning MVP Kevin Durant, and the all-star skills of Russell Wilson, the Thunder have fallen flat, and have been barely able to earn the few wins that they have acquired on the season so far.
While there is certainly going to be optimism when the Thunder get their two star players back on the court, there can be no question that the team will have a lot of work to do to earn their way into the playoffs, and they may be hard pressed to do so if they have any more injury related stumbling blocks on the season.
Still, if both Durant and Westbrook manage to take the court on Friday against the Knicks, who are also struggling through a tough season, the Thunder, for the first time in quite a while, be become heavy favorites.