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Westbrook undergoes surgery for facial fracture, will be re-evaluated this week

Craig Mitchelldyer / USA TODAY Sports

Lest the Oklahoma City Thunder experience anything resembling a lucky break this season, the injury bug has returned to take another bite out of them. 

Fresh off one of the finest months of basketball in NBA history, point guard Russell Westbrook is set to miss time after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured right zygomatic arch (a cheek bone), the team announced Saturday. 

Westbrook suffered the injury after taking a knee to the face during Friday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. He will miss, at the very least, the Thunder's game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, and will be re-evaluated later in the week. 

With Kevin Durant also out after undergoing a minor procedure to ease discomfort in his surgically-repaired right foot, the Thunder are back to where they were at the beginning of the season, when they stumbled to a 3-12 start as their two superstars sat out.

This time around, the Thunder are also without center Steven Adams due to a right hand fracture, though they have slightly more depth on the roster thanks to the deadline-day trade that brought in center Enes Kanter, small forward Kyle Singler and point guard D.J. Augustin (who can be expected to start in Westbrook's absence). 

With averages of 31.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists in his 12 February games, Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players ever to average at least 30-9-10 in a calendar month. The Thunder went 9-3 in the month, and maintain the Western Conference 8-seed despite losing their last two games.

They'll now have to completely rejigger their offense, and figure out how to allocate the touches that had Westbrook operating with a 38 percent usage rate. That percentage doesn't just lead the league, it would be the third-highest mark in NBA history, behind only Kobe Bryant in 2005-06 and Michael Jordan in 1986-87. 

Given Westbrook's ridiculous production amid that ridiculous workload - a league-best assist rate (48.1 percent) and second-best PER (29.4) - it's no wonder his team's offense is 11.8 points per 100 possessions worse when he's not on the floor. 

The good news, as Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports, is that Westbrook isn't expected to be sidelined for long. According to one source, "If he had a playoff game (Sunday), he could play." 

The Thunder sit just a half-game up on the New Orleans Pelicans and a game up on the Phoenix Suns in the race for the West's final playoff spot. 

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