Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder are about
to again face life without Russell Westbrook for an extended period, with
the team announcing Friday that the All-Star point guard has undergone a
third surgery on his right knee in eight months.
Westbrook had an arthroscopic procedure performed on the knee Friday and is
expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break.
The three-time All-Star tore the meniscus in the same knee while colliding
with Houston guard Patrick Beverly during Game 2 of the Thunder's Western
Conference quarterfinals series with the Rockets back in April. Westbrook was
expected to be back in time for the start of training camp, but suffered a
setback in October when a loose stitch caused the knee to swell up and require
Westbrook only missed the Thunder's first two regular-season games before
returning to action on Nov. 3 and has been productive in 25 outings since
coming back, averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds while playing
32.9 minutes per game.
However, the six-year veteran has recently been bothered by swelling in the
knee once again, which necessitated the most recent surgery.
"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," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "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."
Reggie Jackson will take over as the starting point guard for Oklahoma City,
which currently sits a half-game behind Portland for first place in the
Northwest Division. The third-year pro averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and
3.7 assists in nine games filling in for Westbrook during last season's
playoffs, in which the Thunder eventually lost to Memphis in the conference
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