Russell Westbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday, a procedure that likely will force him to miss the entire preseason and could sideline him for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first few regular-season games.
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Westbrook will be re-evaluated in four weeks, with the Thunder opening the season Oct. 16 against the Golden State Warriors.
If Westbrook is cleared after four weeks, he’ll be available to play in the Thunder’s opener against the Warriors, but obviously there will be no rush to get him back on the floor.
Westbrook experienced some stiffness in the knee over the past week during individual workouts while preparing for training camp. He elected to have a standard scope as a pre-emptive “maintenance” procedure rather than potentially dealing with issues throughout the season.
While the timing is not ideal with Thunder training camp opening on Sept. 25, the situation is not viewed by the team as anything to be alarmed about, with no lingering issues anticipated to follow the procedure.
Following a collision with Patrick Beverley in the 2013 playoffs that resulted in a meniscus tear in his right knee, Westbrook underwent three surgeries on the knee in a nine-month span. It has been four and a half years since any surgery on his right knee, with Westbrook recovering completely to win an MVP and average a triple-double in consecutive seasons.
Westbrook, 29, holds career averages of 23.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game in 748 appearances.