Westbrook suffered the tear when Patrick Beverly tried to steal the ball in the 2nd quarter while Westbrook was trying to call a timeout. Westbrook was visibly limping and upset at what Beverly had done.
Sam Presti, the Thunder GM, released this statement today.
“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 in a release. “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’s no timetable on Westbrook’s return to the playoffs. We’ve seen Brandon Roy play on a torn meniscus. Ron Artest tore his meniscus earlier this season and returned in a matter of weeks. It all varies when it comes to this injury, it seems.
Keep in mind that the Thunder have never seen a basketball court without Russell Westbrook since he’s been drafted. Reggie Jackson will likely start the game for the Thunder and this means an increase in minutes for Derek Fisher.
Kevin Durant’s ball handling responsibility is sure to increase as well. There’s going to be a lot more pressure on him to be more superhuman than ever before. If he’s truly the second best player in the league, then he’ll have no issue in doing so.
We’ll see how it turns out. The Thunder play again tomorrow night at 9:30 p.m Eastern Time on ESPN.