A Loose Stitch Will Keep Russell Westbrook From Returning Until December
October 1 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus back in late April. The injury, which occurred in Game 2 of the Thunder's first round series with the Rockets, completely derailed OKC and was a major reason why the West's number one seed got sent home a week later. Fans of good basketball -- and the Thunder -- hoped that Westbrook would be ready to return for the start of the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Here's the reason for Westbrook's delayed rehab process, which will keep Westbrook out for an extra four to six weeks, minimum (via the Daily Thunder):
The Thunder announced Tuesday that Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery to alleviate swelling.
His timetable is he’s expected the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season. So that’s 8-10 weeks total.
“Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation. He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided,” said Sam Presti in a statement. “After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today based on our consulting physician’s belief that the swelling would be alleviated, and in turn give Russell the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond. During the procedure it was determined that the source of swelling was due to a loose stitch, and fortunately we were also able to confirm that the meniscus has healed properly.”
A loose stitch is described as "a little bit of an outlier," which is another word for freak accident. Kobe Bryant aside, this development couldn't have happened to a more critical player. Based on what we saw of the Thunder against the Grizzlies and Rockets without Westbrook, OKC could find themselves outside the top four by the time their point man returns. And who knows how long it will be until Westbrook is in top form?
Though the Rockets are psyched that Dwight Howard has joined the team, they should really be giving thanks for Patrick Beverly, who may have altered the trajectory of one of the Rockets' greatest competitors entirely.