NBA injury updates: Thunder stars Russell Westbrook (finger, knee), Paul George (shoulder) both undergo offseason surgery
George will reportedly miss the start of training camp
The Oklahoma City Thunder have their two superstars on the mend this offseason.
As first reported by ESPN's Royce Young, then confirmed by the team, forward Paul George underwent rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder. Young also reports that George is set to miss the start of training camp due to the procedure. In addition, star guard Russell Westbrook also had surgery performed to repair a torn ligament in one of the fingers on his left hand, along with an elective procedure on his right knee. Westbrook is expected to return to full basketball activities in about three weeks. From the Thunder:
Russell Westbrook underwent successful surgery to repair a ligament on the fourth metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP) of his left hand. Westbrook also had a successful elective procedure on his right knee in preparation for offseason training. The 2016-17 NBA MVP is expected to return to full basketball activities in approximately three weeks.
Paul George had successful elective surgery on his right shoulder to repair a partial thickness supraspinatus tendon tear. George will also address a small labrum tear in his left shoulder with a procedure in the coming weeks. An update on the six-time All-Star's return-to-play status will be provided prior to the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.
George originally injured his shoulder in February and it proved to be a hindrance throughout the second half of the season. The All-Star forward was in the midst of a career year before the injury, and certainly could've been viewed as a candidate for the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
The star forward suffered the shoulder injury on Feb. 26 against the Denver Nuggets, but also admitted that he had suffered a shoulder injury prior to that during the team's exit interviews. George is coming off a season in which he put together averages of 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Westbrook played the final six weeks of the season with the injury to the fourth metacarpal of his non-shooting hand, according to Young. Westbrook hadn't revealed the finger injury to the public down the stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.
Westbrook's minor procedure on his right knee was viewed as "proactive maintenance," according to Young. The All-Star guard had the procedure performed at this time so that he could prepare for the 2019-20 season later this summer without any hiccups.
The Thunder are fresh off of a first round exit in the playoffs after being eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in five games.
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