29 Apr 2013

Injury threatens Oklahoma's NBA title hopes

6:02 am on 29 April 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder have suffered a massive blow to their National Basketball Association title hopes after All-Star guard Russell Westbrook was ruled out indefinitely because of upcoming surgery on his right knee.

The 24-year-old suffered a lateral meniscus tear during the second quarter of Oklahoma's 105-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, a win that put them up 2-0 in the first-round best-of-seven playoff series.

Westbrook, a three-time National Basketball Association All-Star who averaged 23.2 points during the regular season, will have surgery in the coming days but no timetable has been set for his return, the team said in a statement.

Westbrook, who has never missed an NBA game during five seasons in the league, was injured while going for a steal when his knee collided with Rockets rookie Patrick Beverley's hip.

The top-seeded Thunder, who won the Western Conference last season, are widely regarded as the biggest challenger to the NBA champion Miami Heat during this campaign.