The Oklahoma City Thunder announced Saturday that guard Russell Westbrook underwent surgery on a fractured cheek bone, will miss Sunday’s game against the Lakers and will be re-evaluated next week.
Westbrook sustained the injury late in the Thunder’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. He was accidentally kneed in the face by teammate Andre Roberson and immediately fell to the floor. Video later showed a clear dent in Westbrook’s cheek.
Westbrook finished the game Friday with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his third consecutive triple-double, the first player to accomplish that feat in six years. He will leave February with averages of 31.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game for the month, and his torrid pace had brought Westbrook into the discussion for league MVP.
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The Thunder, who have been plagued by injuries all season, will also be without Kevin Durant at least through Sunday. The reigning league MVP underwent surgery to replace a screw in his foot and was already scheduled to be reevaluated next week.
Oklahoma City also is missing centers Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. Adams suffered a broken bone in his hand, underwent surgery on Feb. 9 to repair it and also is scheduled to be reevaluated next week. Kanter is suffering from a thigh injury; Friday’s game was the first he has missed since being traded to the Thunder by the Jazz. No timetable for his return has been given.
Filling Westbrook’s spot as the starting point guard will be D.J. Augustin, whom Oklahoma City also acquired at the trade deadline from the Pistons in exchange for Reggie Jackson.
The Thunder’s lone saving grace: Their next two games are against the Lakers and 76ers, who own combined records of 29-86.