Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, a blow to the Western Conference top seeds' NBA playoff hopes.
The Thunder said Friday that Westbrook was injured in game two of their first-round series against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and will have surgery in the coming days. He will be sidelined indefinitely.
"Our players' health is our first and foremost concern," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said.
"The Thunder's medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue. We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell.
"Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger."
Westbrook a five-year NBA veteran, has never missed a game in his professional career.
"Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute," Presti added.
"We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue."
In the first two playoff games this season, Westbrook has averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds.
The Thunder hold a 2-0 lead over Houston in their best-of-seven series, with the Rockets slated to host game three on Saturday.