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News » White cleared to play


White cleared to play


White cleared to play
Rookie forward D.J. White, who has yet to play this season, has been cleared by team doctors to participate in full-contact practices and games.

With only 15 games remaining, it's unclear if White, the 29th overall pick in last year's draft, will make his debut this season or if Thunder officials will hold him out until 2009-10. White underwent two surgeries to remove a benign growth in his jaw and still has visible swelling on the left side of his face. But he has participated in light practices and shoot-around sessions over the past few weeks, doing everything but full-contact drills.

White, the Big Ten Player of the Year last season at Indiana, averaged 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in 33 games for the Hoosiers last season. Whenever he takes the court, he is expected to add depth to the Thunder's frontcourt with interior toughness, rebounding and a soft shooting touch.

"He's very athletic and he's very active, especially on the boards," said Russell Westbrook. "He can score and bring people out to the elbow. He's going to be a good asset for us, especially rebounding and blocking shots."

DURANT 'CLOSE' TO 100 PERCENT

Kevin Durant averages 23.5 points in two games since returning from a severely sprained ankle that sidelined him for seven games.

"I wouldn't say it's 100 percent healed, but it's getting close every day," Durant said. "I've been icing it and rehabbing it."

Asked if he feels his shooting stroke is back to normal, Durant responded: "I was hitting some but I was missing some, too. It's just me getting back into the gym and get reacquainted with my teammates. I hadn't worked out in a week and a half. I'm just happy to be on the floor."

COLLISON EXPECTED TO PLAY TONIGHT

Nick Collison suffered a cracked fracture on the middle finger of his shooting hand Monday but is expected to play tonight.

"Nick was good (Tuesday) in practice," said coach Scott Brooks. "Nick is a tough kid who plays through nicks and bruises and broken bones."

Collison matched his season-high with 21 points in an overtime win over the Bulls Jan. 10 in Chicago. He nearly had another double-double (8 points, 10 rebounds) Monday against San Antonio.

"Nick never gets the credit he deserves," Brooks said. "He's an intangible player that every team wants someone like him on their team."

TIP-INS

Thunder point guard Earl Watson has paid to host 250 at-risk kids at the screening of the documentary "Crips and Bloods: Made in America," an award-winning film that focuses on gang violence that will be shown this weekend in Oklahoma City. The film project was put together by Baron Davis, from south central Los Angeles. ...

Thunder fans will have an opportunity to win a clean-burning, environmentally friendly compressed natural gas car, courtesy of Chesapeake Energy, at the home game on April 7 vs. San Antonio, as part of the Thunder's NBA Green Week, April 2-10. Fans can enter by going to Thunder.NBA.com or sign up on the Ford Center concourse during home games.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

 

 
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