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Thunder guard Russell Westbrook to have surgery on torn meniscus

04.26.13 at 1:16 pm ET

The Thunder’s NBA title hopes took a hit Friday when the team announced that All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will have surgery “in the coming days.” He is out indefinitely.

Westbrook, 24, averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds in the regular season. In Oklahoma City’s two playoff victories over the Rockets this week, he averaged 24 points, seven assists and 6.5 rebounds. Game 3 is Saturday in Houston.

“Our players’ health is our first and foremost concern. The Thunder’€™s medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue,” Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell. Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger. Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute. We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue.”

Midway through the second quarter of Wednesday night’s Game 2, Rockets guard Patrick Beverley attempted a steal as a timeout was being called and collided with Westbrook, knocking him to the ground. Westbrook was in obvious pain and angrily pounded the scorer’s table with his fist and then limped off the court. However, Westbrook returned to the game immediately after the timeout and finished the night with 29 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

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