The Oklahoma City Thunder have unexpectedly lost their All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook after the player needed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday.
Westbrook is expected to be out through the All-Star break, which takes place on February 15, the team announced.
“Russell has been playing pain free but recently had experienced increased swelling,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Back in April, the star tore his lateral meniscus in his right knee during the NBA playoffs. He had the initial surgery on April 27, and another one on October 1 to remove a loose stitch from the first procedure.
Originally, Westbrook was expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season, but he returned early on November 3, missing only two games.
Westbrook had his seventh career triple-double on Christmas at New York.
Reggie Jackson, who is averaging 12.5 points, will start in Westbrook’s place, as he did Friday night.
[Photo Credit: Tiago Hammil]