OKLAHOMA CITY (AFP) – Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic right knee surgery on Tuesday that will sideline him for the first four to six weeks of the NBA season.
The operation was conducted on the same knee that required surgery for a torn lateral meniscus in late April after Westbrook was injured in game two of the Thunder’s opening-round series against the Houston Rockets.
The second surgery was needed because of swelling and to confirm the area had healed properly, but will mean he will miss about a dozen games and be out until December.
“Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation,’’ said Thunder general manager and vice president Sam Presti. “He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided.
“After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today based on our consulting physician’s belief that the swelling would be alleviated, and in turn give Russell the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond.
“During the procedure it was determined that the source of swelling was due to a loose stitch and fortunately we were also able to confirm that the meniscus has healed properly.’’
Westbrook, a three-time NBA All-Star, averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.77 steals a game last season for the Thunder. Westbrook also helped the United States win Olympic gold last year in London and the 2010 world title in Turkey.