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Kevin Durant injury update: return to action vs New Orleans Pelicans possible

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It is rumored that Kevin Durant may make his return to the floor tonight against the Pelicans. Is Scott Brooks rushing his recovery process?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After a miserable 5-12 start to the season, the Thunder may finally get the good news they've been waiting for.  It is rumored that Kevin Durant, after suffering a Jones fracture that kept him sidelined thus far, may make his return to the court tonight against the Pelicans.

Throughout the first month of the season, OKC has put up an average of 90.9 points per game--a league worst--and accounted for just 18.8 assists per game--29th in the league.  Durant's offensive mastery is desperately needed.

Durant's counterpart, Russell Westbrook, made his return Friday against the Knicks--after fracturing his hand, and he changed the entire dynamic of the team.  The offense was fast and smooth.  In just 24 minutes, he scored 32 points and nearly had a triple-double.

KD was supposed to officially come back around January; is Scott Brooks rushing this?

Yes.  But for the right reasons.  A Jones' fracture is a serious injury so rushing Durant's rehabilitation process can be risky, but KD has stayed relatively injury-free throughout his basketball career.  Brooks may also be rushing this because of the competitiveness of the Western Conference.  Currently, there are 10 legitimate playoff contenders (Grizzlies, Clippers, Spurs, Suns, Kings, Pelicans, Mavericks, Warriors, Trail Blazers, Rockets).  If the Thunder were to hold Durant out till January, the team would have to win a incredible amount of games while battling team chemistry and possible after-effects of injury.  And even if they do make the 8th spot, playing the Spurs or Warriors first round would be a tough situation.

Bringing Durant back early seems like a logical answer since it is so early on in the season and a spot in the playoff race is just 4.5 wins away.

So be on the lookout for any status updates, because we may be closer to a KD comeback than we realize.

Additonal note:

Also reported in Mayberry's story is an update on Mitch McGary, who formed one half of the Thunder cyborg twins:

They got an up close look at rookie forward Mitch McGary, who played for the first time since breaking his left foot in the Thunder’s preseason opener Oct. 8 at Denver, and second-year forward Grant Jerrett, who is working his way back from offseason ankle surgery.

"I thought it was great that our guys went down there and played," Brooks said. "We utilize our Blue team quite a bit. Their coach has done a great job of implementing the system that we have in place so that when we do put guys down there it’s pretty seamless."

McGary and Jerrett remained on assignment with the Blue for Monday’s game and are expected to be re-called Tuesday and join the Thunder in New Orleans.

"It’s good for Mitch and Grant to get down there and get some conditioning in," Brooks said. "They both need it, and they’re both going to continue to utilize it."

The return of McGary will add even more offensive punch to the Thunder bench unit, although it may also spell the end of Lance Thomas' run with OKC. We will continue to report as the story develops.