The Thunder announced Sunday that Andre Roberson suffered a Ruptured Patellar Tendon Saturday in the team’s win against the Pistons and will need season-ending surgery. Roberson’s injury came in the third quarter when he attempted to catch a lob-pass from Westbrook, coming down on his left knee.
Roberson had had a platelet-rich plasma injection in the same knee before the season began. He has missed games this season with similar knee issues.
Head coach Billy Donovan told reporters after the game that the injury is a massive blow to the team, and unfortunate for a player like Roberson.
“He’s certainly a huge loss,” Donovan said. “Everyone’s been able to see that since he’s kind of come back to us and what he’s been able to do defensively. And he’s found a way to be, offensively, a really effective player for us.”
Roberson’s injury is a big part of why the Thunder boast one the better defenses in the NBA. Oklahoma City averages the most steals and deflections per game in the league.
The duo of Paul George and Roberson allow the Thunder to play a particularly aggressive, energetic brand of team defense that will not have the same effect without Roberson. With Roberson on the court, the Thunder allow only 95 points per 100 possessions.
Support from around the league poured in for Roberson via Twitter after word of the injury got around.
If I learned something through these years, It’s your toughness. You will come back stronger @FlyDre21 ??????
— Alex Abrines (@alexabrines) January 28, 2018
Constant praying for my brother @flydre21 ????
— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) January 28, 2018
Prayers sent to @FlyDre21! Hope you gone be good homie. ??
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 27, 2018
Stay strong @boogiecousins and Andre Roberson! Prayers your way for a strong recovery ??
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 28, 2018
Teammate Steven Adams said while the injury is not ideal from a team standpoint, it’s up to the other players on the roster to step up as best they can.
“It’s s—, it’s real s—,” Adams said. “He’s a huge part of our team and why we win. It’s a huge blow to us, but we’re just going to have to rely on some of the players to step up.”
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