On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced that OKC's All-Star point guard, Russell Westbrook, successfully underwent his second knee surgery and is expected to miss the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season. The news was a surprise, as all parties had given great vote of confidence to Westbrook's rehab so far.
"Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation. He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided," Sam Presti said.
"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."
This is a semi-major blow to the organization. Last Friday at Thunder Media Day, Westbrook was his energetic self, talking to media members with enthusiasm. He came into the meeting room without crutches and seemed to be in high spirits. Now, Westbrook may not see the court until mid-December at the earliest.
Any sports fan can remember where they were when the three-time All-Star hurt his knee during Game 2 of the Conference Quarterfinals against the Houston Rockets. The injury occurred when Rockets PG Patrick Beverley lunged for a steal and banged his into into Westbrook's knee. A few days later, the Thunder announced Westbrook would miss the rest of the playoffs. Without Westbrook, the Thunder's title chances were dashed and they ended up losing to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals. With this latest setback, the Thunder can only sit back and wait to see if Westbrook completely recovers or whether this becomes a recurring injury issue. Only time will tell.