Share “Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook...”

Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook has meniscus repaired, out for rest of playoffs

BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 27, 2013

Widely regarded as one of the NBA's best players, the 24-year-old Westbrook has been the coaches' choice as a Western Conference All-Star reserve the last three seasons.

Recover time varies for each patient. Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace suffered a meniscus tear to his left knee one month ago and returned 12 days after surgery.

“You can't compare injuries,” Presti said. “They're for doctors to really assess.”

Presti said a quick return for Westbrook would not necessarily have been good news for the long-term.

“When you see players return quickly from these procedures, it's easy to see the short-term benefit of that,” Presti said. “They're returning because the meniscus was not able to be repaired. It in fact is removed, which allows there to be some short-term gain, but ultimately there's long-term loss. So any time you enter into these types of situations, what you're looking for is a full repair, which is what Russell was able to have today.

“Obviously in the short-term, it's a disappointment. Everybody would like to see him on the floor, but entering into the procedure this is the best-case scenario for Russell Westbrook. … What's important here is the fact this young man has a very long NBA career ahead of him. You're always entering into these situations looking to do the repair and keep the meniscus intact.”

During the 2012-13 regular season, Westbrook finished sixth in the league in scoring (23.2), seventh in assists (7.4), ninth in steals (1.77) and also averaged a career-high in rebounds (5.2).

“Russell's long-term health and his wellness is our No. 1 priority,” Presti reiterated, “and when you take your pragmatic perspective and understand what is truly important in this situation, you have to be really satisfied with the results of (Saturday) morning.”