The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without superstar guard Russell Westbrook for the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season after he underwent his second knee surgery Tuesday.
The Thunder were hopeful Westbrook would be ready for the season opener after his rehab showed positive progress. His knee took a step backwards recently, and swelling returned.
Russell Westbrook had his first surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus last April. He suffered the injury in the Thunder’s game two victory over the Houston Rockets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
At only 24-years-old, Russell Westbrook has already established himself as one of the best young players in the game. Drafted out of high school, he is a three-time All Star and two-time All-NBA Second Team selection.
Westbrook arguably had his best season in 2012, averaging 23.2 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. The Thunder finished the season with a 60-22 record, the best in the Western Conference.
Thunder President Sam Presti explained in a statement why the team elected surgery,”After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today based on our consulting physician’s belief that the swelling would be alleviated, and in turn give Russell the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond.”
Russell Westbrook’s “sustained health” is imperative to the continued success of the Thunder. His expected recovery time of 4-6 puts his return to the lineup as mid-December. The Oklahoma City Thunder open their season against the Utah Jazz on October 30.
If Westbrook’s recovery takes the full six weeks, he will miss roughly 21 games.
Do you think the Thunder can survive without Russell Westbrook in the lineup?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]