The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Wednesday that Russell Westbrook had undergone successful arthoscopic surgery on his right knee. The procedure came after Westbrook experienced inflammation in that knee over the previous weekend. He’s expected to be out for four weeks, which takes him out of the whole preseason, then he will be evaluated again by the team’s medical staff before determining a timetable for his return.
The full statement from the Thunder is below.
Seeing headlines containing “Westbrook” and “knee surgery” can be particularly scary, since this is know Westbrook’s fourth knee procedure, but this kind of surgery doesn’t necessarily mean anything terrible is going on (disclaimer: I’m NOT a medical expert).
Arthoscopic knee surgery simply means that the doctor made a small incision and put a tiny camera into the area to look around. In this case, they were checking out and treating some inflammation. No big deal. However, this is the same knee that had a torn meniscus after Westbrook collided with Patrick Beverly in 2013, which then led to three subsequent surgeries in less than a year on that knee.
Again, no big deal.
Westbrook has shown that he can bounce back from anything. In the 2016-17 season, he averaged a triple-double and capped off his historic season with a long-overdue MVP honor. Last season, he averaged yet another triple-double for the year (25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). While he averaged a hair over 35 minutes per game the last three seasons, the high usage didn’t seem to slow him down at all, even if he’s had multiple knee issues.
Being an explosive player is going to bring about some knicks and dings; it’s just the way it goes. Westbrook has shown that he’s completely capable of bouncing back from much worse. Even if Westbrook is sidelined for longer than the slated four weeks, the Thunder are in a good position to stay afloat after aquiring Dennis Shröder, signing Nerlens Noel on a minimum deal, and locking in Paul George with a new contract.
Westbrook and the Thunder will ultimately be fine, and I can’t wait to see Russ continue to dunk on everybody for years to come.