Russell Westbrook Out with Knee Injury for Thunder vs. Warriors Season Opener

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during of an NBA basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook will miss the opening game of the 2018-19 season, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The guard was ruled out of Tuesday's game against the Golden State Warriors due to a right knee injury, along with teammate Andre Roberson.

Westbrook underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in September and missed the entire preseason.

Westbrook hasn't had to deal with many injuries throughout his career. He has played in 80-plus games seven times in his 10-year career, including each of the past three seasons. However, he did tear the meniscus in his right knee during the 2013 playoffs, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery on that same knee in late December 2013.

When healthy, though, Westbrook is the motor that makes the Thunder run.

After winning his first NBA MVP award in 2016-17, Westbrook followed that up by averaging a triple-double (25.4 points, 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds) for a second consecutive season in 2017-18. That historic performance helped the Thunder reach the playoffs for the third straight season, although they were knocked out in the first round for the second straight year.

The Thunder did acquire Dennis Schroder during the offseason, which gives them a short-term Westbrook replacement, and they can also turn to Raymond Felton as well. However, they won't be able to replicate Westbrook's output.

Oklahoma City had to battle down to the wire for a playoff spot a season ago, and that was with Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams all in the fold. If Westbrook misses considerable time, it will be up to George and Adams to keep the Thunder's season afloat in a loaded Western Conference. 

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