Thunder fans could not have received worse news today. Russell Westbrook will be reportedly out until after the All-Star Break after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today.
It is the third surgery that Westbrook has undergone since tearing his lateral meniscus in April.
The latest setback comes as a surprise, but the cause is much like the second procedure the All-Star point guard needed on Oct. 1. Recent swelling in the knee called for the scope to be administered.
Westbrook had been getting the knee drained regularly to alieve swelling. But when the swelling kept reappearing, it was determined that the procedure would be necessary.
This surgery once again comes as a big surprise. Westbrook appeared to be 100 percent basically since he returned to the floor after missing just the first two games of the season.
This setback seems to be a result of the overall pressure Westbrook has been putting on the knee, and the surgery did not come because of another specific injury that Russ suffered. It also seems like this is something Westbrook could probably have continued playing through, but maybe that would have been unsafe with the risk for a reinjury increasing.
The Thunder will be once again in deep trouble without Westbrook. They looked well on their way to eclipsing the franchise record 60-win total they had a season ago. They currently have the second-best record in the league and are just a half game behind Portland for the number one seed in the Western Conference.
OKC was 1-1 without Westbrook this season. They beat Utah in the season-opener and then lost at Minnesota embarrassingly by 19 points.
I believe the Thunder will be better than they were at the start of the season without Westbrook. Reggie Jackson continues to improve and should do a decent job as the starter. It’s the second unit that may suffer the most without Jackson.
Without Westbrook, you have to expect the Thunder to begin falling in the standings as they may resemble a .500 team more closely now.
Remember too that Westbrook came back much sooner from the last surgery he had. I believe this one will once again be successful and Westbrook should begin recovering quickly. However, the Thunder will probably want to not rush him back since doing so already this season may have resulted in this other surgery.