Perk & Thabo Back Soon?

By Randy Renner

For their first years here in Oklahoma City the Thunder were amazingly healthy. A couple of starters would only miss a handful of games a year, Russell Westbrook never missed a game, Kevin Durant usually didn't either and even key members of the rotation were always healthy.

This year the odds finally caught the Thunder. Out of the 71 games they've played, all five regular starters have played together in only 20.

Think about that for a minute.

And OKC's record in those 20 games when the team was healthy is a steller 17-3.

It looks like we're finally getting closer to having all five starters back on the floor at the same time. Both Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins flew with their teammates on the short road trip to Dallas this week. It's the first time the pair has gone on the road since they've been injured.

Perk strained his left groin the first game back after the All-Star break and Thabo strained his left calf a couple of games later.

Both were put on a 4-to-6 week timetable for a possible return and both are right about there now.

Perkins told reporters in Dallas he hopes to be back for the team's April 4th game in Houston, that's a week from tomorrow.

Sefolosha hasn't said and neither has Thunder head coach Scott Brooks who will say only that both players are getting closer to a return.

The Thunder are home now for a full week, with plenty of time to practice, so if Perkins and Sefolosha are indeed close maybe this is the week when they'll begin getting back into full practice routines and getting comfortable again with teammates.

As we've discovered this season with the back-and-forth, in-and-out of the lineup routine with Westbrook, bringing even veteran players back into a lineup that has gotten used to other options can be a tricky thing.

As we've also seen, the The Thunder defense has a tendency to suffer against quality opponents without their two best defenders so getting Perkins and Sefolosha back before the playoffs begin, giving them time to knock off the rust, would be a great boost to a team that is clearly outstanding with its full roster healthy.