The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Tuesday afternoon that Paul George and Russell Westbrook both underwent surgeries to deal with injuries sustained during the regular season.
As predicted, George had a procedure done to repair a partial thickness supraspinatus tendon tear in his right shoulder. He will also have another procedure done to repair a small labrum tear in his left shoulder in the coming weeks. He is expected to miss at least part of training camp for the 2019-20 NBA season, and while an update will be given closer to September, it is expected that he will be good to go for opening night in October.
Westbrook also underwent successful surgery to take care of an issue with a ligament in his left hand. He also had a routine procedure done in his right knee to better ready him for rigorous training this summer. He is expected to return to full basketball activities in just three weeks.
None of these surgical procedures come as a surprise to Thunder fans, and while they definitely help explain some of the issues down the stretch for OKC, there are no excuses being made.
Referencing his injury, George said “I think it came at a terrible time, especially the team was rolling. We were playing good. I was holding up pretty, pretty, pretty good. I just thought it came at the wrong time, honestly. But again, I’ve never made no excuses on it. I was dealing with it for a long time throughout the season. It just got worse and worse as it went on.”
Both George and Westbrook should use this summer to recuperate and rejuvenate in order to come back next season primed and ready to make a run like they hoped would happen this last season. After a first round exit for the third year in a row, the Thunder needs to see some progress or the legacy of “What if…?” may forever tarnish the franchise.
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