Earlier today, according to the Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sam Presti, Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee. The surgery was his third on the knee after he tore his lateral meniscus during the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
After the initial surgery to repair the meniscus directly after the tear, Westbrook went under the knife again right before the 2013-14 season started after a loose stitch in the first surgery, per CBSSports.com, led to swelling and discomfort. Here’s the Thunder on Russell’s second arthroscopic surgery today:
“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling. After consultation and consideration by his surgeon in Los Angeles, a plan was established to monitor the swelling that included a series of scheduled MRIs,” said Presti. “On the most recent MRI it was determined by the surgeon that there was an area of concern that had not previously existed, nor was detectable in the previous procedures, and it was necessary to evaluate Russell further. The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell’s work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate.”
Westbrook is expected to return post All-Star break.
Westbrook played himself back into All-NBA form in the season’s first month after he was scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks following the initial surgery. But he returned in time for OKC’s third game and his improved play in December has helped the Thunder to a 23-5 start to the season.
After shooting below 40 percent during 11 games in November, Russ was shooting over 45 percent from the field in December while averaging 21.4 points, 8.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game. The announcement of Russell’s surgery, which will keep him out until after the All-Star break (Feb 14-16), came on the heels of a Christmas Day triple-double in OKC’s blowout victory over the Knicks.
Third-year guard Reggie Jackson will fill in for Westbrook at the point, and Derek Fisher will come off the bench as OKC’s backup point guard.
What do you think this does to OKC’s title chances?
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