Russell Westbrook out with torn meniscus, no timetable for return

Royce Young at Daily Thunder just reported that Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery for a meniscus tear in his knee and is out indefinitely. The injury may have been the result of this collision between Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the second quarter of Wednesday night’s Thunder-Rockets game.

Westbrook, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team in each of the last two seasons, has never missed a game in his NBA career (nor did he miss any games during his two years at UCLA). Without Westbrook—who averages 23.2 points and 7.2 assists in 34.9 minutes per game for the Thunder—Oklahoma City will have to rely on back-up point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson played well in the first two games of the Thunder’s playoff series against Houston, but he’s no Russell Westbrook. Moving Jackson into the starting lineup leaves Oklahoma City without much backcourt depth, meaning Derek Fisher will have to play significant minutes.

Westbrook’s absence opens things up in the West. Without their second best player the top-seeded Thunder are no longer the prohibitive favorite, and could have trouble with the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies series if they advance to the next round.

Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones on the Westbrook injury: "Just imagine the outfits Russ is going to come up with on the bench."

Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones on the Westbrook injury: “Just imagine the outfits Russ is going to come up with on the bench.”



About Josh Tinley

Josh Tinley writes the Away From The Action column at Midwest Sports Fans, covering all aspects of sport aside from what actually happens on the field, court, or track. Josh grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Evansville and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports and the managing editor of LinC, a weekly curriculum for teens that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Josh lives outside Nashville with his wife, Ashlee, and children, Meyer (7), Resha Kate (5), and Malachi (3). He will not allow himself to die before the Evansville Purple Aces make another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Follow him on Twitter @joshtinley or send him an e-mail.

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