Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery on his right knee to repair a torn lateral meniscus, the team announced today.
No timetable was included.
“Our players’ health is our first and foremost concern. The Thunder’s medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti in a release. “We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell. Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger. Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute. We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue.”
The team says the injury occurred in the second quarter of Game 2. Which yes, is when Patrick Beverley tried to steal the ball from Westbrook after a timeout, appearing to bang knees or something with him. Westbrook was hobbled, but stayed in the game and finished it out, scoring 29 points.
Westbrook, who famously has never missed a game in high school, college or the pros, will assuredly miss extended time. The typical timetable for a meniscus tear is 6-8 weeks, though Metta World Peace did return from one in 13 days. That’s an extreme case though.