Westbrook Will Miss 4-6 Weeks At Season’s Start After Another Surgery

From NBA.com staff reports

.

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Whatever plans the Oklahoma City Thunder had for Russell Westbrook will have to be put on hold. Their All-Star point guard will miss 4-6 weeks at the start of the season after another surgery Tuesday on his ailing right knee.

Westbrook injured his knee after a collision with Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverly on April 24 and had surgery to fix a torn meniscus on April 27 in Vail, Colo. He was progressing well, until recently.

Persistent swelling in the knee as Westbrook began limited activity during the Thunder’s training camp caused alarm and spurred a trip to California to consult with a medical team.

“Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation. He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement released by the team. “After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure [Tuesday] 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. During the procedure it was determined that the source of swelling was due to a loose stitch, and fortunately we were also able to confirm that the meniscus has healed properly.”

Both the initial surgery and the arthroscopic surgery performed Tuesday were done by surgeons chosen by Westbrook’s representation, according to Presti. The Thunder’s doctors were present in both cases, but only as observers.

Presti said he does not regret allowing an outside medical group to perform the operations.

“The way that it has been described to me is that it [a loose stitch] is a little bit of an outlier. It does happen,” Presti said. “When those things happen the best course of action is to obviously remove it because there’s something that’s aggravating the knee.”

During the Thunder’s Media Day on Friday, Westbrook was in high spirits, though he was unsure if he would be ready to start the regular season on Oct. 30. Now, with his initial recovery ongoing and combined with Tuesday’s procedure, it is possible he won’t play until Christmas nears.

The good news? The extra look into Westbrook’s knee confirmed that it has healed properly from the original surgery, Presti said. That knowledge should supply the explosive guard with some peace of mind.

Meanwhile, Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning iron man, will miss the first regular-season game of his career. His streak will end at 394.

“He is a very, very smart guy. He understands that although there is some loss of time here, a small amount from what was initially forecasted, what was gained was a tremendous amount of confidence in the healing of the knee,” Presti said. “Combining that information with the way he has looked in practice and the way he was moving in practice, I think he understands this bodes very well for him, not only this season, but also for the foreseeable future with the Thunder.”

It doesn’t necessarily bode well for teammate Kevin Durant and the Thunder, who went 4-5 in the playoffs sans Westbrook — losing in the semifinals to Memphis. The Thunder also lost sixth man Kevin Martin in free agency without signing a replacement.

Reggie Jackson will be Westbrook’s likely replacement in the starting lineup (as he was during the playoffs) with veteran Derek Fisher first off the bench. The shuffling will also accelerate second-year shooting guard Jeremy Lamb’s role as he’s introduced into the Thunder’s rotation.

“I think that we’ll be more prepared knowing a lot more about our team, some of the players that were able to perform at the time that we were dealing with this particular situation in the past,” Presti said. “And I think over time as we work through this period, when Russell does come back and joins us, A) he’ll be as good as ever, and B) I believe the team will be better than the one he last played with based on the fact that they’ll have to play through some situations that are not necessarily the way that we expected them.”

NBA.com’s Sekou Smith and Jeff Caplan contributed to this report

42 Comments

  1. okc2014 says:

    I have no doubts in my mind that OKC will do just fine…

  2. Mr.Honesty says:

    somewhere in Houston, Morey is secretly praising Beverly for his good work with money

  3. Oh Yeah says:

    PREDICTIONS:

    > KD gets another scoring title.

    > Jeremy Lamb grows up fast to win 6th Man award.

    > Jackson astonishes all doubters!

    > Ibaka becomes offensive threat.

    > “Thabo for three!” reminiscent of “Kerr for three”

    > and finally… Westbrook returns WITH A VENGEANCE!!!

    GO THUNDER!!!

    • DARLENE says:

      I STILL BELIEVE IN THE OKC THUNDERS’ TEAM…THEY WILL BE IN THE TOP 8 FOR SURE…THE BENCH PLAYERS WILL COME THROUGH FOR THE TEAM…THEY ARE GREAT PLAYERS BUT JUST DIDN’T GET THE CHANCE TO PROVE IT..THEY WERE GREAT PLAYER IN THE D-LEAGUE..THEY PROVED THEMSELVES DURING THE SUMMER LEAGUE..

  4. OKC Starter Fan says:

    We need to start Derrick Fisher because he has more experience of being a PG. But don’t ware him out. Thats why we have Jackson. Let Kevin Durrant Play his part bkuz he cannot run the point… Thats why the Grizzles beat OKC bkuz Kevin Durant cannot do it all.. We need another secret weapon besides Kevin Durant.. We are losing players and not gaining.

  5. SYDALE says:

    Depending on their schedule… this has very little impact on the Thunder… The important thing would be to have Westbrook back to 100% health and rhythm by January… I don’t think that the Thunder care what seed they get as long as it’s Top 4 in the West…

    Hopefully, in Westbrook’s absence, we get to see Durant average 35-40 points per game…

  6. John Doe says:

    Time for sum mofoe work to be done in boring ole OKC!

  7. J says:

    why do people think the thunder are so good?
    they were good in 2012 when they made the finals.
    but they had James harden then who was what the thunder needed to win.
    martin couldn’t provide that and lamb could be a good 6th man but not for a few years with more experience.
    to me the thunder aren’t as good as everyone says they are. don’t think I hate the thunder they are 1 of my favourite teams, I just think they need to get better. they cant be a legitimate contender for a championship with this team. think about it, yes Durant and Westbrook are the leaders but they don’t have much else. they got ibaka yeah he is great defensively but offensively not so much, Perkins is average, Thabo is solid but they pretty much have no depth. just look at the main players who they got off coming the bench in the rotation:

    lamb
    fisher
    Jackson
    collision

    not that strong
    I just think they wont get the first seed

  8. J says:

    this is terrible news for the thunder they aren’t gonna finish 1st in the west now that is for sure

  9. bishnu subedi says:

    35-0 or 35+0 = 35. that emply KD is KD

  10. arvin says:

    parker is the best pg as of now. period.

  11. Unkle Daddy says:

    None of this matters. Even with Westbrook at full strength they don’t have a good enough team to take the west. They need to make moves and I mean a lot of them soon if they want to keep hope for a championship. First step a better than average two guard (which they had and let go), second step a better than average power forward (say Dirk or Aldridge), step three move Serge to center.

  12. I M My Own Fan says:

    Without Westbrook, let’s see how well KD is? Can he carry his team (or I should say, Westbrook’s team)? I would say to KD (the same thing) he said to D-Wade, “SHOW ME”… I bet that if Westbrook out for at least 2-3 months, OKC won’t make it to the top 5 seed in the West (‘cuz we got the San Antonio, Clippers, Memphis, Houston and Golden States).

  13. Karlo Garcia says:

    On the brightside, @ least Westbrook will not miss the rest of the season.

  14. OKC says:

    You have to be a real punk to call someone getting injured karma for something someone else said.

  15. Winston says:

    We need to pray for this young man. This is just flat bad luck. Get well soon Westbrook.

  16. jo says:

    wat the? thot he alredy had surgery. this a new injury?

  17. qhaz says:

    He has Arenas written all over this knee thing….

    • Kome the Black dumba says:

      If what we saw was Arena’s peak, then Russ still got ways to go. Not far but not on par with a healthy prime Arena.

  18. alp says:

    as an OKC fan nothing makes me more pissed knowing this injury happened because of an EXTREMELY RECKLESS FREAK PLAY. im soooo mad, but get well rus..

    • Kome the Black dumba says:

      Try to win every posession on a playoff game is reckless? What happened to the 80s tough ball? Face it Russ got injured and it was an accident. Nothing more, nothing less.

  19. Ferny Perez says:

    Well, looks like the Heats chances of a three-peat just increased… I wont buy into all the Houston hype. Heat, nets, bulls and pacers look dominant. Out west? if okc isn’t healthy it wont pose a big threat to San Antonio nor Golden state… which I think are the wests bests.

  20. Lost Ball says:

    This is KARMA for Kevin Durant for making some arrogant opinion and tweets on a colleague D Wade. With Durant incapable of carrying a team alone, good luck OKC and guess who’s having the last laugh?

    • Kome the Black dumba says:

      Karma? If it’s real Karma KD should be the one starting getting injured and had to play through the season like d-wade. Then we all can say KD lost a step and wasn’t even a top 10 player.

  21. OctoPPus says:

    Get 100 % healthy and than get back – plenty of time !!!!

  22. HotSaucy says:

    I think their backup pg Reggie Jackson is good too. They’ll be fine.

  23. John Williams says:

    This is going to test how great KD is individually and how well he’ll handle carrying a team on his back even though it’s projected to be just one month.

  24. bob says:

    You are too young! take care of it! don’t rush back…

    • Jeffrey says:

      Drose took his time and look at all the criticism he got.

      • Ferny Perez says:

        Yeah but drose is a former mvp and he is the most dominant PG today. He will continue where he left off… dominating.

      • mmmm says:

        don’t tell chris paul that

      • slider821 says:

        drose got criticism because he kept saying he was coming back, first it was march, then end of march, then post all star break. had he just be transparent and said he was sitting out the season, no one would have cared. But him and his brother decided they needed to keep the spotlight on Rose and no better way to do that than stur controversy, which they did quite well with the talk that the ‘bulls arnt good enough for rose to come back’….well their bench got especially worse than last year…so arent they still not good enough for him?

  25. JMaine says:

    Yay we get to see how good KD really is.

  26. Kate Upton says:

    Get well, baby Russ! ( o )( o )