Russell Westbrook - It was a few weeks before the season that Russell Westbrook had surgery on his knee, and there should be growing concern for a player who will be pushing 30 during the season. Westbrook is a pedal to the floor type player and needs that burst to be successful. Any sort of slow down for Westbrook and we could start to see him slip in efficiency and production a bit. Luckily the Thunder traded for Dennis Schroder in the offseason, so he will continue to fill in as long as he is out.
Andre Roberson - Andre Roberson missed just about all of last season, and the Thunder defense suffered big time. Roberson is a terrific defender, and that is all he is really used for in Oklahoma City. He had a setback and will be re-evaluated in two months. Any sort of return will likely come after the break. In the meantime the Thunder will miss his defense, and they also do not have much depth to fill in behind him.
Top Injuries in Franchise History
The Thunder came about in the 2008 season, and have had a few injuries throughout the years. Desmond Mason in 2008 had surgery on his right knee to remove debris. Shaun Livingston battled injuries in his career, and rebounded when he got to the Warriors. In Oklahoma City he had surgery on his left knee to repair earlier damage. Eric Maynor tore his ACL in the 2012 season. Maynor was a first round draft pick, going 20th overall, but never panned out. Kendrick Perkins was a big part of the defense in Oklahoma City for the 2012 season, but over the summer he had to get surgery on his wrist.
Russell Westbrook has had some big knee injuries in his career, and in 2013 it started with a torn lateral meniscus. He would miss the rest of the 2013 season, and made a return back to full health in 2014. The next year the Thunder more bad injury luck. Durant fractured his right toe, which required surgery. A few games later Russell Westbrook fractured his right hand, but both him and Durant would return that season. Durant would leave again though, having surgery on his right foot. Steven Adams would follow him with surgery on his right finger. All three would have follow up surgeries over the next few months.
2017 was more of the same for the Thunder, as Cameron Payne and Enes Kanter had to have surgery for various injuries. While Andre Roberson isn’t a huge name, he is one of the best defenders in the NBA, and his torn patellar tendon has caused him to miss a lot of time. He continues to have setbacks, and the future right now is in doubt. The Thunder have had a lot of bad luck on the injury front, and especially when it has come to the playoffs with core bench players. Westbrook is definitely the biggest concern.