Clippers star Russell Westbrook suffers left hand fracture

The Los Angeles Clippers have suffered a major blow with former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook fracturing his left hand during Friday’s 140-115 win over the Washington Wizards.

Westbrook sustained the injury while trying to poke the ball away from Washington guard Jordan Poole with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, leaving the game around two minutes later.

The 2017 MVP was the last remaining Clippers player to have appeared in every game this season.

Reports suggest he expects to be sidelined for around a month, having sat out 14 games when he broke his right hand in the second game of the 2014-15 season.

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The Clippers rallied well on Friday as James Harden finished with 28 points, while Kawhi Leonard added 27 and Paul George tacked on 22. Head coach Tyronn Lue, however, knows Westbrook will be a big miss.

“I just feel bad for Russ right now,” Lue said. “You never want to see a player get hurt. Poole drove around and he tried to deflect it from the back. I think he hit his elbow with his hand.

“So we don’t know what timetable, we don’t know if he needs surgery or anything yet. But he’s out right now. So we’re just trying to figure it out.

“He’s going to stay engaged regardless. That’s just who he is. We need him around, we need his energy, we need him talking, with the way he leads.

“Until he is able to get back, we’re going to miss him. So hopefully it’s a speedy recovery and we get him back sooner rather than later, but I’m not sure of the timetable right now.”

The Clippers did at least recover George for Friday’s game, after he missed two games with soreness in his left knee.

“I just needed some time off,” George said after the game. “It was a rough stretch going into the All-Star break, coming out of the break, and so my body needed that rest.

“But I felt good tonight and was able to walk out clean.”

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