OKLAHOMA CITY – A lot of Thunder fans are wondering the same thing, how long will it take for Russell Westbrook to recover from his knee injury?
The truth is no one knows for sure how long Westbrook will be out but one local knee surgeon said the average recovery time is about five or six weeks.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bond specializes in sports medicine.
Bond said the meniscus is basically the knees cushion.
“It is the shock absorber in the knee,” he said. “If you don’t have a meniscus, it’s like driving on a gravel road without shocks.”
According to a study two years ago in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, in over 21 seasons, the NBA reported more than 1,600 knee injuries; 77 involved only the lateral meniscus.
It showed on average, “the number of days missed for lateral meniscus tears ranged from 35 to 43.”
Recovery all depends on the exact location of the tear.
“It really does vary as to where the tear is, how significant the tear is, to being a minor injury or one that takes a lot of time to rehab from,” Bond said.
Earlier this season Metta World Peace missed just two weeks after tearing his lateral meniscus, although others players had recovery times of up to four months.
The good news is, even if Westbrook doesn’t recover in time for the playoffs, the injury shouldn’t make him any less explosive for the rest of his career.
“It is very common for athletes to come back as good as they ever were after this type of injury,” Bond said.