The 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player Russel Westbrook underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Wednesday, which means he might miss a few regular-season games.
According to ESPN’s Royce Young, the Oklahoma City point guard experienced some stiffness in his knee over the past week during individual workouts, so he decided to undergo surgery as a pre-emptive measure for him to not deal with knee issues throughout the season. Due to this procedure, Westbrook will miss the entire preseason and could be out for the first few regular-season games, including the season opener against the Warriors – which is a shame because watching Durant and Westbrook facing each other is always a thrill. He will be re-evaluated in four weeks, before this game.
Although this is a minor injury, this is not the first time the 29-year-old has to deal with knee problems. During the 2013 playoffs after a collision with Patrick Beverly, he had to undergo surgery due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. The following season he missed the training camp, preseason and the first four-to-six weeks of the regular season because of a second arthroscopic surgery on the same knee. In December of the same year, he underwent a third surgery due to increased swelling. Since then, he hasn't gone through surgery, although last year he received a PRP injection in one of his knee—no one really knows which one, but we can suppose the right one—which is used to treat chronic tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints problems.
So, yes, it is worrying, because such dynamic and explosive players as Russel Westbrook tend to struggle with knee problems that eventually force them to end their careers sooner than expected. Steve Francis, Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, and Tracy McGrady are just a few examples of 2000’s All-Stars that had to leave the league earlier than what any NBA fan would’ve liked to due to knee injuries. (If you don’t recognize these names you were probably born in the 2000’s or, under a rock).
And this is not a problem that used to affect this type of player back in the days; it’s happening right now, even with modern medical advances. Just look at John Wall, who hasn’t been able to reach his fullest potential because of his knees or even Kyrie Irving that missed most of last season.
So even though this injury will sideline Westbrook only for a few games, he should take care of those knees if he wants to become an NBA legend like Vince Carter, who was known for his explosive game and keeps playing after 20 seasons.