When Kevin Durant made his return for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, there was optimism that he could help the team overcome their 3-1 deficit. But the worst-case scenario was unfortunately what played out for Durant, and it came during the second quarter of the game in Toronto on Monday night.
While Durant had fought to return from a strained calf suffered in the second round, there was some concern that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy when he came back. Whether or not that was indeed the case may never be known but over the first quarter and a half of action during his return, Durant was playing well.
Then, as SportsCenter showed, disaster struck when he attempted to drive to his left and immediately reached back and grabbed his leg while going to the ground.
Durant signaled to the Warriors staff and was helped back to the locker room shortly after, putting very little weight on his leg, the same one where the initial injury had occurred.
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Kevin Durant Diagnosed With Ruptured Achilles Tendon
Durant was slated to have an MRI on Tuesday and wound up going to New York to have a doctor evaluate what was revealed to be a right Achilles tendon injury, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
The following day after quite a bit of radio silence and plenty of questions, Shams Charania and The Athletic reported that Durant had suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and underwent surgery to repair it.
It’s a brutal blow for Durant, and there are a number of topics around his future which now remain up in the air, including his potential upcoming free agency. But KD can at least base his offseason decisions off the projected timeline for recovery, which points to him being sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Kevin Durant’s Timeline for Recovery From Ruptured Achilles
Although the exact timeline for recovery from an injury will change on a case-by-case basis, there is already quite a bit of chatter that Durant will miss the entire 2019-20 season. The initial report came from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who stated that the injury is expected to keep him out next year, but offered a positive outlook on his free agency.
Per Wojnarowski, both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are still interested in signing Durant and pairing him with Kyrie Irving in free agency, even with the injury. Beyond that, The Athletic’s Frank Isola revealed that the Warriors were planning to pitch Durant on a long-term contract to remain with Golden State as well, an option which may still be on the table.
While Durant revealed on Instagram that he had already undergone surgery, the road to return starts now and will take quite a bit of time. Faizal Khamisa of Sportsnet revealed a list of a few players who underwent surgery for Achilles injuries and their recovery timelines.
It’s worth noting that Durant’s teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, also suffered a ruptured Achilles and was sidelined by far the longest of any name on that list. Obviously, a lot can change when looking at each player’s situation, but it would make sense for Durant to remain out through next year and return for the 2020-21 season.