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Russell Westbrook’s status for start of playoffs in doubt after MRI on quad

Russell Westbrook, Rockets

Houston Rockets superstar point guard Russell Westbrook underwent an MRI in Orlando for a quadriceps injury, the team announced. The former MVP has a strained quadriceps muscle in his right leg and won’t play on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Rockets will re-evaluate Westbrook before the playoffs start next week, and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to go. This is certainly not the news Rockets fans wanted to hear with the playoffs right around the corner. Houston supporters are hoping some rest will help Westbrook’s injury.

Westbrook had just missed two games with a quad injury. He played 28 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday in his return.

In his first season with the Rockets, Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in 57 appearances. The nine-time All-Star is also shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 25.8 percent from beyond the arc and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.

The Rockets are currently in the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings with a record of 44-26. As of this writing, Houston would face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets traded Chris Paul to the Thunder for Westbrook last offseason.

Westbrook is one of the better playoff performers of his generation, although he’s not always efficient. The future Hall of Famer has career playoff averages of 25.4 points, 7.0 boards and 7.9 assists. He also played in the 2012 NBA Finals alongside James Harden.

The Rockets are the only team in the NBA with two MVPs leading the way in the postseason. However, if Russell Westbrook isn’t at 100 percent, Houston’s title chances drop significantly.