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Thunder G Westbrook returns to lineup

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook has been cleared for contact and will make his season debut on Sunday as the Thunder take on Phoenix.

Westbrook tore the meniscus in his right knee during Game 2 of OKC's first- round playoff series with Houston when Rockets' guard Patrick Beverly bumped into the Thunder star. He underwent surgery and was expected to be back in time for the start of training camp but suffered a setback in October after a loose stitch created swelling in the surgically repaired knee.

Westbrook had a second surgery and was expected to miss the first month of the season, but received good news early Sunday when team doctors cleared him to play.

"Russell Westbrook has gone through a methodical rehab process jointly created by our medical and performance teams and treating physicians," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. "The process has been instrumental in getting Russell to this point and has included various physical and medical benchmarks. The final benchmark being unrestricted basketball activity."

Westbrook, one of the most dynamic guards in the league since getting drafted No. 4 overall by OKC in 2008, averaged 23.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game a season ago.

11/03 16:24:42 ET