Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season because of a second surgery on his right knee on Tuesday morning. He will also miss training camp and all of the preseason.
According to a press release issued by the team on Oct. 1, General Manager Sam Presti said that Westbrook underwent the procedure to alleviate recent swelling in the knee that was not going away. Presti added that the swelling was determined to have come as a result of a loose stitch from Westbrook's previous knee surgery.
The setback in his rehab comes just as Westbrook was beginning to rebound from having his meniscus repaired from a tear suffered in April during a first-round playoff game against the Houston Rockets. Presti said that, while Westbrook's meniscus has healed properly, the medical staff decided to go forward with the second surgery in order to give the three-time All-Star "the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond."
"After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today 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."
The Thunder will have to figure out how to fill the void left by a player who averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals for the team. In his place, Oklahoma City will likely lean upon Reggie Jackson, who performed impressively during the playoffs last season, averaging 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
The Thunder open the regular season Oct. 30 with a road game against the Utah Jazz.MAHONEY: Highlights from NBA Media Day