Thunder G Russell Westbrook to return Friday night vs. Knicks

The Thunder say point guard Russell Westbrook will return to action Friday night against the New York Knicks.

The three-time All-Star broke a bone in his right hand against Portland in the second game of the season, and he hasn't played since. Westbrook has been practicing and taking contact on the court. He was reevaluated this week and finally was cleared to play. He will start and Reggie Jackson will return to his backup role.

Westbrook was expected to pick up the slack after MVP Kevin Durant broke a bone in his right foot before the season began. Instead, the stars spent about a month together wearing suits on the bench. Without them, the Thunder won just four of their first 16 games.

Durant is still unavailable.