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Clippers star, former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook out indefinitely with broken hand

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THE Los Angeles Clippers are in the midst of a playoff push, but the team will likely have to go through the final weeks of the regular season without one of their star players.

Russell Westbrook, 2017 NBA MVPbroke his hand during the Clippers’ game against the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said it appeared Westbrook was injured after accidental contact with a Wizards player’s elbow.

“I feel bad for Russ right now,” Lue said. “You never want to see a player get hurt. (Washington’s Jordan) Poole rolled and he tried to deflect it from the back. I think he hit his elbow with his hand.”

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Russell Westbrook looks to shoot

Russell Westbrook of the LA Clippers goes to the basket during a game during the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2023, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Westbrook left Friday’s game in the second quarter and did not return. He finished the competition with six points. Lue said it remains unclear how long Westbrook will miss.

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“So we don’t know what the timeline, we don’t know yet if he needs surgery or anything,” Lue said. “But he’s away right now. So, I’m just trying to figure it out.”

The Clippers are in fourth place in the standings. Western Conference.

Russell Westbrook backs down from Devin Booker

Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook breaks down Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round playoff series, April 16, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Ten-time NBA All-Star James Harden said the team would miss “everything he brings to the game.”

“His athleticism,” Harden said. “His energy. His playmaking ability. His leadership.”

The Clippers received some positive news on the injury front. Paul George is expected to return from a two-game absence after experiencing left knee discomfort.

Russell Westbrook during a Clippers game

Russell Westbrook (0) of the Los Angeles Clippers tackles Saben Lee (38) of the Phoenix Suns during a game at the Footprint Center on April 9, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

“I just needed some time off,” George said. “It was a tough time before and after the (All-Star) break. And so, my body needed some rest. But I felt good tonight and was able to come away clean.”

Westbrook entered the 2023-24 season as the starting point guard, but his role changed shortly after the team traded for Harden in October. Westbrook relinquished his position in the starting lineup, and since that move, the Clippers have won 35 of 48 games.

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Westbrook has appeared in all 58 games this season. The 35-year-old is averaging 11.1 points and 4.4 assists per game.

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