Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier today, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.
The surgery came as a surprise, as Westbrook has appeared to be fully recovered from his previous knee surgery in October and was coming off of a triple-double in a blowout of the Knicks on Christmas Day.
"Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling. After consultation and consideration by his surgeon in Los Angeles, a plan was established to monitor the swelling that included a series of scheduled MRIs," Presti said. "On the most recent MRI it was determined by the surgeon that there was an area of concern that had not previously existed, nor was detectable in the previous procedures, and it was necessary to evaluate Russell further. The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell's work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate."
According to Presti, the MRI on Westbrook's knee revealed that the issue occurred on Dec. 23, two days prior to his 14-point, 13-rebound and 10-assist performance against New York.
This is the third surgery on Westbrook's knee since suffering a torn meniscus in April during the Thunder's playoff series against Houston when Rockets' guard Patrick Beverley dove into Westbrook's knee for a loose ball after the whistle had already stopped play.
His initial surgery was followed up with a second operation the day before training camp.
Westbrook is expected to return after the All-Star break in mid-February, missing roughly 27 games in that timetable.
The Thunder is currently 23-5 and has won 18 of its past 20 games. Oklahoma City plays in Charlotte Friday at 6 p.m.