Russell Westbrook’s right knee is acting up again. Oklahoma City’s star point guard is out through the all-star break after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the team announced Friday.
Westbrook tore the lateral meniscus in the same knee during last year’s playoffs. He underwent a 2nd procedure on October 1st to remove a loose stitch. Westbrook will now be having a 3rd surgery in one year on the same knee.
Westbrook was supposed to be out the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season, but he ended up missing only 3 games.
Thunder GM Sam Presti was adamant that this injury had nothing to do with what happened previously:
“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.”
Despite Presti’s claims about this being a new injury, there will be questions about whether Westbrook came back too soon. Kobe Bryant also came back remarkably early from a torn achilles, and ended up getting hurt again.
During Oklahoma City’s last game on Christmas, Westbrook notched a triple double with 14 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds.
The Thunder currently sit a half game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the first seed in the Western Conference.