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Russell Westbrook to miss 4-6 weeks after more surgery on right knee

October 01, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Oklahoma City star guard Russell Westbrook will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery Tuesday on his right knee.
Oklahoma City star guard Russell Westbrook will miss four to six weeks after… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)

The Lakers aren't the only team in the Western Conference with major injury concerns heading into the season.

Oklahoma City star guard Russell Westbrook will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery Tuesday on the same right knee he injured during last season's playoffs.

Westbrook was experiencing swelling in the knee that apparently was caused by a loose stitch left from the procedure he had in April to repair a torn meniscus, Thunder General Manager Sam Presti told reporters.

Presti said the meniscus has fully healed, which is about the only plus side to the situation for Oklahoma City. The Thunder was already down to two proven scorers after losing Kevin Martin to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Westbrook's absence for at least the first month of the season will place an even heavier burden on Kevin Durant.

Not having Westbrook for such an extended period could cost the Thunder a couple of spots in the conference standings. Oklahoma City was widely seen as a contender for the conference title along with San Antonio, the Clippers and Golden State before news about Westbrook's setback broke.

Reggie Jackson probably becomes Westbrook's replacement as the starting point guard and second-year guard Jeremy Lamb must at least play respectably for the Thunder to remain among the NBA's top teams.

Westbrook had developed a reputation as one of the sturdiest players in the game before his injury last spring. He never missed a game in high school, college or his first five NBA seasons prior to the playoffs last year.

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