Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is on the road to recovery following surgery on his right knee suffered during the first-round of the 2013 NBA playoffs.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 18, at 10:13 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Russell Westbrook (knee) continues to make great progress during his recovery from surgery. The Thunder star posted a Vine of himself ditching his crutches and stating "I'm back!"
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UPDATE: Thursday, May 9, at 1:22 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Russell Westbrook will still be on crutches for several weeks following knee surgery, according to CBS' Royce Young.
Westbrook said he's supposed to be on crutches for another four or five weeks. Then he'll get a firmer timetable.— Royce Young (@dailythunder) May 9, 2013
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UPDATE: Saturday, April 27th at 2:50 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
Well, it's official; Russell Westbrook will miss the rest of the postseason after undergoing surgery to repair his torn meniscus. CBS' Ken Berg reports that the team announced the news on Saturday afternoon.
Russell Westbrook underwent knee surgery today and will miss the rest of the playoffs, Thunder announce.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 27, 2013
CNN's Rachel Nichols broke the news on Friday:
Wow. OKC Thunder's Russell Westbrook undergoing surgery to repair meniscus tear in right knee. No timetable for return— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 26, 2013
According to NBA on TNT's David Aldridge, a prospective postseason return depends on the severity of Westbrook's tear:
Will obviously depend on grade of tear before anyone can say how long W'Brook will be out/if he can come back for later rounds of playoffs.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 26, 2013
The injury occurred in the second quarter of Oklahoma City's playoff matchup with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Rockets rookie Patrick Beverly attempted to steal the ball from Westbrook as a timeout was being called, and ended up colliding with the Thunder star's knee.
A league source told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that Westbrook is "irate" with Beverly, which makes sense given the severity of his injury.
This is a huge blow to Oklahoma City, who will be without half of its dynamic scoring duo for the foreseeable future. Considering how hotly competitive the Western Conference is, it will be difficult for the Thunder to get back to the NBA Finals if Westbrook misses significant time.
Just getting through its opening-round series against the No. 8 seed Houston Rockets could prove to be an arduous task. Led by ex-Thunder sixth man James Harden, the Rockets nearly stole Game 2 on the road after a late comeback.
With Houston point guard Jeremy Lin suffering a bruised chest, Westbrook would have had a huge matchup advantage at his position. Unfortunately, this stinging development puts the Thunder in an unfamiliar position since taking the UCLA star No. 4 overall in the 2008 draft.
Though Westbrook has not missed a game since entering the league (his 439-straight games played was the longest active streak in the NBA), he is obviously going to have to take in some games from the sidelines while his right knee recovers.
Kevin Durant is a prolific scorer, but he and the Thunder supporting cast will have to pick up the slack in lieu of the explosive 24-year-old floor general missing time.
Westbrook has been named an NBA All-Star for three-straight years. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists during the 2012-13 regular season.