Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook could miss four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand, The Oklahoman reports. Westbrook underwent successful surgery on Saturday and will be re-evaluated in a month, according to the team.
Westbrook, 25, fractured the second metacarpal in his right hand when he hit it against Thunder center Kendrick Perkins' back in the second quarter of Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. After playing with the injury for a minute, Westbrook left the game for the locker room and did not return.
Westbrook, who led the Thunder with 38 points in their season opener on Wednesday, finished Thursday's game with two points and four assists.
After playing in every game for the first five seasons of his career, Westbrook was knocked out of the 2013 playoffs with a knee injury. He had three surgeries on the knee and was limited to 46 games last season before returning to form during the playoffs.
Led by reigning MVP Kevin Durant, the Thunder have a long list of injured players at the start of the season. Durant is expected to be out another month after having surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson has missed the team's first two games with an ankle injury but could return as soon as Saturday. Jeremy Lamb, Mitch McGary, Anthony Morrow and Grant Jerrett are also injured.
With their two leading scorers out for at least a month, the Thunder are down to eight healthy players. The Oklahoman reports the Thunder could apply for a hardship exception to sign an additional player beyond the 15-man limit.
Third-year small forward Perry Jones scored a career-high 32 points to keep the Thunder close on Thursday before losing 93-90 to the Clippers.
The Thunder are 0-2 and play the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
- Paul Palladino