Thunder GM Sam Presti announced that Westbrook had an arthroscopic procedure after experiencing swelling in his surgically repaired right knee caused by a loose stitch. Westbrook originally hurt the knee in the 2013 postseason.
Westbrook is expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season, which means his entire recovery period could require up to 10 weeks.
When Westbrook went down in the postseason, the Thunder relied heavily on three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant as others such as Serge Ibaka and the since-departed Kevin Martin failed to step up. Teams loaded up on Durant, sending two and three defenders at him and forcing him to pass or score against multiple defenders.
The Thunder could be forced to revert to that unimaginative game plan unless relatively unproven players such as Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb step up.
Westbrook had never missed a game in his fiveyear NBA career until suffering a right knee injury in a collision with Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in Game 2 of their first-round series. He was declared out for the remainder of the postseason and underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus.
On Media Day, Westbrook said he was “not sure” if he would be ready to play on Opening Night. According to Presti, he had been pain-free and practicing at a high level during training camp. Tuesday’s procedure revealed that Westbrook’s meniscus is fully healed.