Examination reveals ‘no issues of concern’ with Westbrook’s right knee

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry bump knees in Toronto

For once Russell Westbrook received good news regarding his troublesome right knee. A comprehensive examination on Saturday that included an MRI revealed “no issues of concern,” according to an Oklahoma City Thunder team representative.

It certainly appeared as though the Oklahoma City point guard might expect the worst. During the third quarter of Friday’s game at Toronto, Westbrook knocked knees with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry as Lowry popped out to guard him at the 3-point arc. Westbrook immediately grimaced, grabbed his knee and slammed the basketball to the floor. He was helped off the court by backup center Hasheem Thabeet and head athletic trainer Joe Sharpe.

Westbrook did not return and suddenly his season and the Thunder’s championship aspirations were put on indefinite hold. Following the Thunder’sdramatic 119-118 double-overtime victory won in the final seconds on a 3-pointer by MVP frontrunner Kevin Durant, who finished with 51 points, Westbrook was more upbeat talking to the media. He said the initial pain made him nervous considering his recent history and that he was “pain free” and “feels good.”

According to the team representative, Westbrook woke up Saturday morning feeling “normal.”

For the Thunder, who sit 1 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the West entering Saturday’s games, the positive news came as a huge sigh of relief as they enter the final 13 games of the regular season.

Westbrook had just returned from his third operation on the knee on Feb. 20 after missing 27 games. Prior to that he was playing some of the best basketball of his career. Two days after recording a triple-double at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 25, swelling forced a second arthroscopic surgery. He underwent the first days before the start of training camp due to a loose stitch inside the knee stemming from the major operation to repair the meniscus in late April.

In 37 games, Westbrook has averaged 21.2 ppg, 7.0 apg and 5.7 rpg. He will remain on a minutes restriction he’s adhered to since his return after the All-Star break, and the Thunder will likely continue to hold him out of one game of back-to-back sets.

The Thunder next play Monday at home against Denver and then Tuesday at Dallas.

32 Comments

  1. IDOL says:

    joshua is a troll from another world.

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Russell Westbrook will be healthy for a very, very long time. That dirty play Kyle Lowry made during that EPIC double-overtime Toronto/OKC game (possible 2014 NBA Finals preview) did not stop Westbrook. That was like a test proving Westbrook is in no danger of any re-injury. He has totally recovered and will help the Thunder win it all.

    The NBA needs to start handing down fines/punishments to players who try to injure other players on purpose. This is getting ridiculous. Coaches need to tell their players to play the game the right way. Don’t tell your players to “sweep the leg” (Karate Kid reference). It won’t work on Westbrook, anyway, so don’t even try it anymore. Stop aiming for his knee, Kyle Lowry and Patrick Beverley. STOP. Have some professional decorum.

    “Sweep the leg.” “You have a problem with that?” “No, sensei.” “No mercy.”

    Sorry, fellas, this isn’t the Karate Kid. I have a huge problem when players try to re-injure other players on purpose.

    Kyle Lowry and Pat Beverly. ALL YOU’VE DONE with your bushleague gameplay is motivated Westbrook and the Thunder that much more to stomp the rest of the NBA for the next 15+ years. Thank you.

  3. booo says:

    if westbrook would care enough to change his game, to an all around dominant pointguard he could be future HOF.
    Now he is just an allstar

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Who wants to be in the NBA HOF, anyway? It’s a joke. Has Reggie Miller been inducted yet? Because he should’ve been a first-ballot HOF. Get real.

  4. Clips2theShip says:

    I am a big fan of Westbrook’s capabilities and his potential, that said . . .

    OKC looks like a better squad as a whole without him.

    There. I said it.

    • OKC71 says:

      U r an idiot

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Clips? You a Clipper fan? That’s laughable. They go on a nice winning streak and suddenly people jump on the bandwagon or whanot. Last time I checked: Spurs and Thunder have been exchanging the #1 seed all season long. Plus, the Thunder are currently 3 wins and 0 losses against the Spurs. Clearly, Thunder are the CLEAR favorite to win the West and the 2014 NBA Finals.

      Clips are good but not good enough. There are a lot of reasons, of which I don’t feel like delving into at the moment, one being that if they face the Grizzlies in the 1st round AGAIN, expect Memphis to cream the Clips AGAIN.

  5. SZC says:

    time to trade russ for a better offensive/defensive center

  6. THUNDERup says:

    I had the same operation as WB on my right knee! To be honest, my knee feels like it’s not mine anymore.. BTW, good luck to WB and thunder =)

  7. tim says:

    WB ‘s knee will never be the same. Sooner or later he’ll sit out again and again. The bench were great before WB return but they are back to last year condition. OKC should trade WB while his value is still high

  8. KDfan says:

    Great news considering the mechanism of injury looked similar to that of his original injury. Limiting his regular season minutes and back to back games will be helpful not only in resting his knee, but keeping him in the flow of things for the playoffs. Even though Perk and Thabo don’t score, have y’all realized the Defense they bring on the court? So, we miss them and need them when we have to clamp down on Defense during certain times of the game. Scoring shouldn’t be an issue. The key to winning the playoffs will be “Serge-protector” Ib(a)loka. Scottie knows when to bring Perk out and go small when needed. It is proven that KD can definitely carry the team (without Russ in the line-up) but the playoffs are a different animal. Teams will be guarding KD hard and try to frustrate him. Also remember the fatigue factor. Russ will be there for our Thunder. Thunder Up!!!!

  9. Suriken says:

    wishes of quick recovery and good health from Ukraine. ironically OKC plays better while Russel is out…

  10. OKC says:

    No bench? Our bench was leading the league in bench scoring earlier this season before Westbrook missed 20ish games mid season and they still outscore most benches any given night… If you think Thabo is no good and that Ibaka (who is 6’10 and only 230 lbs.) should be a center than I would say your wrong about the Thunder. Only the playoffs will tell though.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Reggie Jackson could be a 6th Man of the Year Candidate. His primary role is to come off the bench to backup Westbrook and then usually finish games oncourt with Westbrook (just like James Harden used to do for the Thunder). OKC’s bench is superb.

      Once the playoffs start, you’ll see. They have tricks or secrets up their sleeve that may not show up till the playoffs. Nice strategy.

      For anyone that saw that entire OKC/Toronto game, you know everything I’m referring to. Hint. Hint. Wink. Wink.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Plus, Caron Butler has played great off the bench, as expected. He is a “systems” guy and is a double-figure scorer. He fits in perfectly.

        Let’s not forget that, unless I’m mistaken, Perry Jones didn’t even play in this game. That’s how deep the Thunder bench really is. Hint. Hint. Wink. Wink. ;-)

  11. John Finkel says:

    Good to hear but the Spurs are winning this one

  12. okc2014 says:

    Kyle Lowry didn’t mean it. It happens in sports. In this picture above he is showing genuine concern over Westbrook. I’m still on guard. I think his knee will never be the same and that makes me sad for his career. Go Thunder.

    • Red says:

      If that was Pat Bev they’re probably going to make a big deal out of it and say it’s on purpose.

  13. Russell westbrook, u r in my prayers. U r my favorite PG and ur boy KD is my favorite player but tell him that I said hi. Thunder is going all the way this year. #teamdurant

  14. Unkle Daddy says:

    Here’s the thing, it’s great he isn’t hurt because he is a real competitor and so fun to watch. But, all this will OKC win the championship this year, real simple no. They have the best one-two punch in the NBA, but they have no bench and barely a real starting five. If they really want to bring rings to OKC, they need to improve one of these positions the 2, 4, 5 they’re 4 should move to the 5 and they should fill the 2, 4 and get a better bench. My advice, shot for Gordon Hayward in the off-season, and/or find a way to get Kevin Love away from the Wolves.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Carmelo to the Thunder after the Thunder wins the 2014 NBA World Championship?

      YES! YES! YES!

      The 2 best NBA scorers on the same team? That sounds like fun to me, maaaan.

  15. OKC2014champs... and pretty much the next decade says:

    Westbrook is the best point guard in the league, you’ll all see come playoff time what ruthless aggression really means. DurantWestbrookIbaka

  16. lafoca says:

    Awesome! I had a deja vu from last season when I saw the play

  17. Thank god says:

    I’m sorry but how long is he gonna be out or he’s not out

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      He’s just day-to-day. It wasn’t an injury. Just a sprain or contusion or whatever. He’ll probably play, as usual, today or tomorrow.

  18. dirk says:

    he should rest this remaining games of the season and come back in the playoffs

  19. theCHI2014 says:

    Great to hear. Extremely surprised though; the injury looked way too similar to the Beverley incident