The NBA’s most durable player will now miss the first four-to-six weeks of the regular season.
After playing every night during the first 307 games of his career, the longest streak among active players in the league, Russell Westbrook will now be sidelined as he recovers from a second surgery to repair his right knee.
The three-time All-Star originally was forced to have the surgery to repair lateral meniscus tear, the result of Houston guard Patrick Beverley crashing into his knee as Westbrook was signaling for a time out in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs.
Oklahoma City anticipated having Westbrook available in training camp, but he will now miss training camp, pre-season basketball and the first four-to-six weeks of the regular season.
The question fantasy owners are facing is when to select the 6-foot-3 guard in the draft.
Prior to the announcement of his second knee surgery, Westbrook was selected on average with the 7.6th pick in Yahoo! fantasy basketball drafts.
If he misses four weeks, fantasy owners will be without his services for approximately 13 games. A six week absence will result in about 21 games lost for fantasy owners.
Standard Yahoo! fantasy leagues last 23 weeks, so if Westbrook doesn’t suit up for six weeks, nearly 25 percent of the season will be lost for fantasy owners.
Last season, Westbrook scored 30 or more points on 16 occasions, submitted eight double-digit rebound efforts and dished out over 600 assists for the third time in his career.
Westbrook’s averages of 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game earned him his second straight selection to the All-NBA Second Team.
The point guard position offers much depth, so fantasy owners would be wise to grab Westbrook in the second round, then tab another point guard either in the fourth or fifth round to provide depth for their teams.
Few players can truly dominate in so many facets of the game as Westbrook and he is still one of the best performers in fantasy basketball, even if he gets a late start.