russell westbrook

The battle to reach the NBA Finals from the Western conference just got even more wide open today.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, the team announced today.

Westbrook suffered the injury in the second quarter of Game 2 of the First Round of the Western Conference Playoffs, when he collided with Rockets guard Patrick Beverley.  The three-time NBA All-Star averaged 23.2 points (6th in NBA), 7.4 assists (7th), a career-high 5.2 rebounds and 1.77 steals (9th) in 82 games this season.

“Our players’ 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,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell. Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger. Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute. We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue.”

There is no timetable set for his return.

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