Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Chase Budinger underwent knee surgery the past two days, while Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum is still recovering from a knee operation.
Westbrook is expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season following arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to reduce swelling in his right knee.
Westbrook first injured the knee in the Thunder's playoff series against the Houston Rockets, and had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the spring. He was off crutches by June but recently said he wasn't sure if he would be ready for the start of the regular season.
"Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation. He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided," Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced Tuesday. "After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today based on our consulting physician's belief that the swelling would be alleviated, and in turn give Russell the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond."
Budinger is out indefinitely following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday.
Budinger was re-signed to a three-year, $15 million deal despite playing in just 23 games last season due to a torn meniscus in the same knee. In his absence, the Timberwolves will look for Derrick Williams, the No. 2 overall pick three years ago, to assume more playing time. Williams reportedly has lost around 20 pounds in an effort to become quick enough to handle small forward duties.
Budinger's meniscectomy was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Meanwhile, Bynum continues to rehab from right knee surgery, the Cavaliers announced Tuesday.
Bynum signed a two-year deal worth up to $24 million on July 18. He never suited up for the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired the 7-footer from the Los Angeles Lakers in the multi-team trade that sent Dwight Howard from Orlando and included Andre Iguodala, who spent last season in Denver.
The Cavs reported Anderson Varejao, who missed much of last season due to blood clots, was cleared for basketball activities.