Saturday , Apr , 27 , 2013 Matt Formica

Breaking News! Russell Westbrook out with injury

A report from the Daily Thunder confirmed Friday that Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  This is an extremely tough break for the Thunder who are poised to make a championship run.

Although an official timetable on Westbrook’s return has yet to be released, it looks like there’s a possibility that the Thunder’s “quarterback” and star point guard could be out for a good chunk of the playoffs.

Westbrook suffered a torn right lateral meniscus in Wednesday night’s playoff game against the Rockets after he collided with Houston’s Patrick Beverley near the sideline going for a loose ball.  (Westbrook ended up staying in the game and finishing with 29 points in 37 minutes played).  He is set to have surgery in the coming days and his return for the playoffs is possible, yet uncertain. 

Meniscus injuries have a wide range of healing time.  The Lakers’ Metta World Peace tore his meniscus and was back on the court in two weeks, however, the recovery period can last two to three months in some cases.

This is definitely a tough blow to the Thunder.  The good news is that Westbrook is a tough competitor and should have an easy recovery.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned after the next round or before the Western Conference Championship.  Unfortunately for the Thunder, he won’t be avaiable in the near future to help his team get there.  OKC is currently up 2-0 in their first round playoff series against the Rockets.  Game 3 is set for Saturday night.

Thunder GM Sam Presti stated the following in his press release:

“Player health is our first and foremost concern.  The Thunder’s medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue.  We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell.  Despite being the competitor and teammate he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger.”

Oklahoma City’s team has been built around Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.  They have great talent around them with players like Sefolosha, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Derek Fisher, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, (the list goes on) but without question, Durant and Westbrook have been the stars of the show.  Being without Westbrook, who essentially runs the offense, will definitely present a challenge for OKC going forward.

But Westbrook has been accused of taking too many shots away from Durant.  Maybe him sitting out will allow the Durantula to make even more of an impact?  I’m digging here but whatever…

Westbrook avaeraged 23.2 poins and 7.4 assists per game in the regular season.  He’s averaged 24 points and 7 assists in the first two playoff games against the Rockets.

Adidtionally, Westbrook has never missed a game in his 5-year NBA career.  He’s played in 439 straight games for the Thunder, which includes 394 regular season games and 45 playoff contests.  The 439 game streak is currently the longest active streak in the NBA but unfortunately will come to an end Saturday night in Houston.

Backup point guard Reggie Jackson is expected to start in Westbrook’s place.

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Image source:  WENN Images

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