- Kevin Pelton
The Western Conference playoffs were turned upside down Friday by the Oklahoma City Thunder's announcement that star guard Russell Westbrook tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee during a collision with Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the teams' series. Now Westbrook, who has never missed a game due to injury in his college or pro career, will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery in the midst of the Thunder's playoff run.
Let's take a look at how long Westbrook and Oklahoma City can expect him to miss and how the team will replace him during the interim, FAQ style.
How long will Westbrook be out?
Meniscus injuries are tricky to predict because rehabilitation tends to depend on multiple factors, including the size of the tear in the cartilage, its location and how the player's knee responds to surgery. The typical timetable for arthroscopic surgery is 4-6 weeks, which would put Westbrook back somewhere between Memorial Day weekend and the second weekend of June. In playoff terms, that ranges from midway through the conference finals to early in the NBA Finals.