Thunders G Russell Westbrook out for remaining season
The team initially announced on Friday that Russell Westbrook was shortly expected to undergo right knee surgery. On Saturday the Oklahoma City Thunder confirmed that Russell Westbrook underwent a successful procedure on his knee and that the timetable for his return will be determined later in the offseason.
Russell Westbrook suffered the a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee on Wednesday after Houston Rockets rookie Patrick Beverly attempted for a steal during the second round of Game 2 in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first round of playoffs series. Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brookshad Reggie Jackson replace Russell Westbrook in the starting lineup as the team headed into Game 3 of the best-of-seven series with a 2-0 lead against the Houston Rockets this Saturday.
The 24-year-old Russell Westbrook’s knee injury could potentially change the layout of the Western Conference playoffs, where the Oklahoma City Thunders were previously considered the favorites to repeat a trip to the NBA Finals this postseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder don’t seem to have much depth behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who have been driving force behind the team’s offense on the floor. Moreover, the bench lacks starting caliber guards who can take the load of Russell Westbrook’s 20-plus points per game contribution, unless you expect a miracle from an aging Derek Fisher.
"Although we are of course disappointed that Russell will be unable to return to the floor with his teammates this season,” Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti said on Saturday, “the opportunity to repair the meniscus as opposed to remove it was the best possible scenario for Russell's long term health as a player and person.”
"Russell's health and well being are obviously our No. 1 priority through this process,” added Sam Presti, “and today's procedure helped solidify our belief that Russell will have many productive years of basketball in his future."
Russell Westbrook is playing out the final season of a five-year contract extension, worth $78 million with the Oklahoma City Thunders.