Posted December 27, 2013

Thunder’s Russell Westbrook undergoes third surgery on knee

Ben Golliver, Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points and 7 assists this season. (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images)

The Thunder announced Friday that Russell Westbrook has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the third procedure on the knee since April. The three-time All-Star guard is not expected to return to the court until after the NBA’s All-Star break in mid-February, which is roughly seven weeks away.

“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling,” Thunder president Sam Presti said in a statement. “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. 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.”

Given his current estimated recovery timeline, Westbrook is expected to miss Oklahoma City’s next 27 games. The Thunder currently have the second-best record in the Western Conference at 23-5, just a half-game behind the Blazers.

Westbrook first underwent a meniscus repair surgery on his right knee back in late-April after a fluky play involving Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the first round of the 2013 playoffs. That surgery ended his 2012-13 season, and the Thunder were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by the Grizzlies.

The sixth-year guard then underwent surgery in October to address swelling caused by a loose stitch from the first surgery. Although he was initially expected to miss the first four-to-six weeks of the season, he returned after sitting out the preseason and Oklahoma City’s first two games.

Westbrook, 25, is averaging 21.3 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 25 appearances this season. His All-Star Game absence opens up a spot in a deep field of Western Conference backcourt candidates. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Clippers guard Chris Paul are currently the projected starters from the fan voting process, while James Harden, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard are all vying for reserve spots that are determined by a vote of the coaches. 

The Oklahoman first reported news of Westbrooks’s surgery.

15 comments
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

Yet another example of how guaranteed contracts are ruining the NBA. Too many superstars are collecting max contracts, yet are not playing. These deals are crippling to a team. The players are rushed back and then get hurt again.

milduesent
milduesent

Too me the Thunder Russell Westbrook is finish. He has had too many surgeries. He needs to start planning his retirement. The games for the coming year are cool. http://t.co/Sze2jvjprI

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

The NBA's image has changed a lot and for the better and that young man's attitude is one of the best of the bunch; fun, upbeat, lighthearted and humble! Luv watching him play hard, attack the basket, play defense. He seems to enjoy and respect the game. He'll be back...

ToddBennett
ToddBennett

Oh this sucks.  The league is bleeding stars.  And he was healthy until Beverly pulled that stunt.

effeweall
effeweall

How he left the ball at his feet after the whistle blew is awesome.  He has taken this guy out twice.  Beverly is like the terminator and westbrook is sarah conner

Ken Cunningham
Ken Cunningham

Ok, P. Beverly didn't do us any favors, so we''ll just ignore his existence. 3 knee surgeries is getting up there though, and that's normally about the most a knee will take before it begins to break down. Still, Westbrook is young, and should have a solid career. Lets hope for a good recovery and a strong late season.

Delusional
Delusional

Westbrook is the heart of the OKC Thunder. We've seen how exposed the thunder are w/o him. KD can't be a point-forward like LBJ. We saw this against houston and memphis last postseason, KD kept getting frustrated and not creating shots for his teammates. 

DaSpiderMonkeys
DaSpiderMonkeys

The scary thing about drafting a guard like D Rose or R Westbrook...is the knees. The articles are about this are sure to come. If I were a GM, I wouldn't drive a guard like either of them.

Rick56
Rick56

When you need three knee surgeries...it is time to retire. 

usbookprint005
usbookprint005

This is reason # 4 to hate the punkass Beverley. Hope his hand heals... never.

BruderJakob
BruderJakob

@Delusional Oh come on, KD is younger than Lebron, and he has never had to develop the skill because of Westbrook. Lebron was all by himself til he got Wade. You really think OKC would be better sans KD but with Westbrook? That's just insane ...

geewhiz
geewhiz

@Rick56 Don't be ridiculous.  Its not like he tore his ACL 3 times.