Clippers' Russell Westbrook fractures hand, out indefinitely

Russell Westbrook fractures hand against the Wizards (0:30)

Russell Westbrook fractures his left hand during the first half vs. the Wizards and does not return to the game. (0:30)

LOS ANGELES -- The LA Clippers could be without former MVP Russell Westbrook for multiple weeks after the point guard fractured his left hand in the first half of their 140-115 win against the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Coach Ty Lue said the Clippers were still evaluating the injury.

"Just feel bad for Russ right now," Lue said. "You never want to see a player get hurt. [Washington's Jordan] 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, don't know if he needs surgery or anything yet. But he's out right now. So just trying to figure it out."

Westbrook, 35, rarely misses time due to injury. But in the second game of the 2014-15 season, Westbrook broke his right hand. He underwent surgery Nov. 1 and returned to action on Nov. 28, missing 14 games.

He had played 10 minutes before leaving Friday's contest for good with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter with six points.

The Clippers have played stretches this season without starting center Ivica Zubac, starting guard Terance Mann and backup center Mason Plumlee. While Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have missed five games each, this is the first significant injury to one of the Clippers' four stars of Leonard, George, James Harden and Westbrook.

Harden said the Clippers will miss "everything he brings to the game."

"His athleticism," Harden explained. "His energy. His playmaking ability. His leadership."

While Westbrook is expected to miss an extended period of time, they did get George back from a two-game absence due to left knee soreness. George said his left knee has been bothering him for a while.

"I just needed some time off," George said. "It was a rough stretch going into the [All-Star] break, coming out of the break, and so just my body needed that rest. But I felt good tonight and was able to walk out clean."

Reserve point guard Bones Hyland could be returning to the rotation. Hyland, who had not played regularly since early November, had seven assists in 16 minutes after Westbrook was injured.

The Clippers, though, will have to find a way to replace Westbrook's energy and aggression. Westbrook came into the season as the starting point guard. But the Clippers acquired Harden in a trade Oct. 30, and after a six-game losing streak, Westbrook moved to the bench in an attempt to help play flow better between their four stars on the court.

Since that move, the Clippers have gone 35-13.

Westbrook had not missed a game this season. He is averaging 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

"He's going to stay engaged regardless," Lue said of Westbrook, who is one of the team's vocal leaders. "That's just who he is. And so we need him around, we need his energy, we need him talking, 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 than later, but I'm not sure [of] the timetable right now."