The Oklahoma City Thunder will likely be missing their star guard and former Kia MVP winner when they open camp in less than two weeks. The team announced today that Russell Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will be re-evaluated in roughly four weeks.
Per the Thunder, Westbrook was experiencing inflammation in his knee this past weekend. The team, Westbrook and his representation determined "the best course of action was the proactive procedure, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache with Thunder medical personnel present at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles," the Thunder said in a release.
Here's the team's full release on Westbrook's procedure:
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.
The Thunder, Westbrook and his representation determined that after he experienced inflammation in his knee this past weekend that the best course of action was the proactive procedure, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache with Thunder medical personnel present at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
The seven-time All-Star averaged a triple-double for a second straight season during the 2017-18 campaign, with 25.4 points, a league-leading 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds, making him the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons.
Westbrook will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks, at which time a further update will be provided.
Per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman (via Twitter), Westbrook's injury means newly acquired point guard Dennis Schroder will likely get the majority of the starters reps during training camp and the preseason. The Thunder open training camp on Sept. 24.
Westbrook felt some stiffness and inflammation in his knee last weekend and elected to have the proactive surgery now instead of waiting until deeper in the season. Dennis Schroder will presumably get starters reps in preseason.— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) September 12, 2018
Additionally, a re-evaluation of Westbrook's status in four weeks would be around Oct. 10. That would be a week away from OKC's regular-season opener against the Golden State Warriors (10:30 ET, TNT). As Horne points out, that would be a re-evaluation date and not a guaranteed return date for the 2016-17 Kia MVP winner.
A re-evaluation of Westbrook in four weeks (Oct. 10) would be about a week from the Thunder’s regular-season opener against Golden State (Oct. 16), That’s a re-evaluation, not a guaranteed return date.— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) September 12, 2018
In the 2013 playoffs, Westbrook suffered a right knee injury in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets and needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the knee. He had surgery on the knee two more times in 2013, once in October and again in late December. However, he recovered and has appeared in 308 of a possible 328 regular-season games since the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Thunder were active in the offseason, parting ways with Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks that netted them Schroder. Additionally, they re-signed All-Star swingman Paul George and defensive-minded forward Jerami Grant while also picking up Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Abdel Nader and Nerlens Noel in other transactions.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.