Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both ahead of schedule in their rehabs from injuries and could return to the Oklahoma City Thunder as early as the end of next week.

According to NewsOk.com, both All-Star players were scheduled to take part in the team’s practice on Saturday for the first time since sustaining their injuries. Durant has yet to play this season following surgery on his right foot and Westbrook has missed the last several weeks with a fractured right hand suffered in the second game of the season.

“They had good workouts the last couple days,” coach Scott Brooks said. “They will go through some of our practice and we’ll go from there.”

Durant and Westbrook were also seen working out individually on Friday in what has been described as “intensified” drill sessions. Several media outlets have reported “Westbrook dribbled and shot with his surgically repaired right hand and Durant rose off his surgically repaired foot for a pair of easy dunks.”

Their return couldn’t come soon enough for the struggling Thunder. Oklahoma City is currently in last place in the tough Western Conference, some five and half games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

The league’s reigning MVP, Durant averaged a career-high 32 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists last season. Westbrook, meanwhile, chipped in with averages of 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

With Durant and Westbrook out, the Thunder have largely turned to third-year guard Reggie Jackson, who leads the team in scoring (19.9) and assists (7.7)

Having struggled to a 3-11 start, the Thunder would have to go at least 46-22 the rest of the way to qualify for the playoffs based on last year’s Western Conference playoff qualifiers. Last season, 33 losses was the cutoff point for making the playoffs in the West.

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]

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