Thunder: Knee surgery for Russell Westbrook; no timetable announced

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee, the team announced Friday.

The injury happened in the second quarter of Game 2 on Wednesday against the Rockets, presumably when Patrick Beverley tried to steal the ball from Westbrook after he had signaled for a timeout.

No timetable was announced for Westbrook's surgery or possible return as the Thunder head into Game 3 in their first-round series.

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“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,” Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “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."

The timetable for a meniscus tear varies. Metta World Peace recently returned from one in just 12 days after have surgery. Chase Budinger was out more than three months. Typically, the timetable is placed at 6-8 weeks, but it's difficult to speculate, and it depends on the approach to the surgery and severity of the injury.

Ken Berger of reports that Westbrook could potentially return within weeks, but that's a decision yet to be made.

"According to a person familiar with Westbrook's prognosis, it's possible that he could make it back before the postseason is over. That, of course, depends on the extent of the procedure and Westbrook's healing capabilities -- but also on how long the Thunder are able to extend their season without him."

Said Kevin Durant about Westbrook hurrying back: "Him coming back earlier just to help us in the playoffs, if it's not a good idea, he shouldn't do it."

Obviously without his All-Star teammate, Durant will have to carry his team. Something he says he's ready to do. 

"I got faith in myself and my team that I can go out there and lead us," Durant said. "In fact, I know I can. I know I can lead us."

Westbrook famously has never missed a game in his high school, college or professional career.

The Thunder currently lead the Rockets 2-0 in the opening round of the playoffs. Without Westbrook, the expectation is for second-year guard Reggie Jackson to fill his role in the starting lineup.

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