Westbrook returns for Clips 3 weeks after surgery

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LOS ANGELES — Russell Westbrook made his return to the court Monday night against the Indiana Pacers, just three weeks removed from when the LA Clippers star guard underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hand.

Clippers coach Ty Lue said Westbrook, who entered the game in the first quarter, would not be under a minutes restriction. Westbrook broke his non-dribbling hand on March 1 against the Washington Wizards and underwent surgery on March 4.

Lue said the Clippers have missed Westbrook’s aggressive energy and hustle and can use his “pop” again. The Clippers went 6-6 without their former MVP point guard.

Westbrook is averaging 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 58 games. He started the first 10 games of the season but made the move to come off the bench to help the Clippers mesh better after the James Harden trade.

From the first game he came off the bench against the Houston Rockets on Nov. 17 to the time he suffered his hand injury, the Clippers went 28-8.

“Another vet, leadership on court, who also is on the same mission we’re on,” Harden said of what the Clippers get with Westbrook back. “That’s to win the championship. So glad to have him back.

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