There are some players that you definitely don’t want to be out of action for a period of 6 to 8 weeks, especially when this period contains the start of a new NBA season. Of all the people you don’t want to see ruled out of action at the start of a new campaign, you really don’t want to see the MVP from the previous campaign unavailable to play.
Sadly, this is the news that basketball fans are dealing with at the moment with Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder fracturing his foot. This is news that is hard to take for the full NBA community, no one wants to see the best players in the game unable to play but when it comes to anguish, the Thunder fans will be feeling the worst. The rumours started to build on Sunday that the player had picked up a serious injury but it was only when his club confirmed it that the bad news started to sink in.
Oklahoma City Thunder released a statement, saying;
After practice yesterday, Kevin made us aware of discomfort in his right foot. We proceeded to perform the necessary imaging studies to determine the cause of his discomfort. At this stage, Kevin has been diagnosed with a Jones fracture. Traditional treatment of this injury requires a surgical procedure and recent NBA cases have resulted in a return to play in six to eight weeks.
We are in the process of collaboratively evaluating the most appropriate next steps with Kevin, his representatives, and Thunder medical personnel. Until a course of action is determined, we are unable to provide a timeline specific to Kevin’s case.
Durant hasn’t missed many games with an injury
When you take on board that Durant has only missed out six games in the past five years, this is a cruel blow to his side and is the latest in a run of major injuries that have blighted some of the top teams in the NBA. There was obviously a lot of consternation during the summer about the injury sustained by Paul George while on duty with Team USA, an injury that still looks set to keep the player out for the whole season, even if he does believe he retains a shot of being fit for the Play-Offs.
A spate of injuries in NBA pre-season
This horrific injury was bad enough but in recent weeks, there have been some notable injuries that will likely impact on some team’s progress at the start of the new campaign. Rajon Rondo of the Celtics suffered a fracture in his left hand, a major blow for a player who has been blighted by injuries in the last two campaigns. There has also been the news that Bradley Beal will be out for around 6 to 8 weeks, a broken wrist injury that could cause the Washington Wizards untold damage.
These are bad losses but the loss of Durant could have a big impact. In some ways, it is better that Durant is missing some of pre-season as opposed to the regular season but this may impact on his overall fitness. If the initial timescale is correct, it is believed that Durant will miss around 15 to 20 games at the start of the campaign, before hopefully coming back into the side in December.
The Thunder will now turn to Russell Westbrook to step in and make up the difference. This may be seen as a twist on the last campaign when Durant stepped up to the plate to cover for the fact that Westbrook was out of the side dealing with a number of health concerns. Westbrook suffered further problems when he was rushed back into the side and the Thunder will have hopefully learned from that time. It is crucial to get Durant back into the team but it is most important to get Durant back into the team when he is fully fit and effective.