The Oklahoma City Thunder's leader and NBA league MVP Kevin Durant has dealt with the lingering effect of a Jones Fracture sustained before the season began. Earlier this month, coach Scott Brooks told the press that Durant was one or two weeks away from returning, but amidst reports yesterday announcing that Durant has experienced a recurrence of soreness in his foot, speculation is that Durant's time table may be changing.
Update: watch the live stream here.
Thunder GM Sam Presti announced that he will be holding a press conference to provide an update today at 11:30AM CST:
The Thunder has announced an 11:30 a.m. press conference with GM Sam Presti to provide an update on injured star Kevin Durant.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 20, 2015
The impromptu press conference is being held presumably to address the reporting yesterday regarding Durant's soreness in his surgically repaired foot. Royce Young at Daily Thunder wrote:
Asked if he’d classify Durant’s soreness as a setback, or how he’d classify it, Brooks worked around the edges of answering that.
"Just he experienced some soreness," Brooks said. "I think when you go through rehab, we all know through the rehab process you’re going to have some peaks and valleys, and you just have to adjust accordingly. That’s why he was off today, and he’s definitely not playing tomorrow. That’s all part of the process with his rehab."
That’s Brooks-speak to try and deflect away the fact that new soreness shouldn’t really be "expected," right? Durant returned to go through parts of practice last Saturday, and seemed to be getting closer to returning, and now he’s got soreness that’s holding him out of practice. The whole idea with this new screw was to try and eliminate the soreness that was limiting him. Apparently that’s not happening.
"It’s just all part of it, it’s all part of it right now," Brooks said. "We’ll know more each day. I think it’s all part of the process of getting back on to the court. It’s all it is right now."
Asked directly if Durant’s timetable has changed, Brooks gave maybe the most revealing answer of all.
"I don’t know that yet," he said. "But we’ll definitely take, with all our players, with injuries we’ll always take the best interest of the player and always take a cautious approach."
That’s worrisome. Again, Durant was given a timetable of "a week or two" eight days ago, which suggested he would be back soon. Him not practicing today is certainly a step in the wrong direction of returning, and it certainly appears he’s not on track.
Darnell Mayberry at The Oklahoman wonders if this may mean the end of Durant's injury-plagued season:
More doubt got doused onto whatever hopes remain that Kevin Durant will return to the court this season, and if the Thunder star actually does come back you can't help but to now wonder whether he will again be himself in time for it to matter.
Durant sat out practice Thursday while dealing with another bout of soreness in his surgically-repaired right foot. He already has been ruled out for Friday's game against Atlanta.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks repeatedly referred to what Durant is experiencing as "peaks and valleys" in his recovery. But by the sound of it, the operative word seemed to be "setback."
Sunday will mark four weeks since Durant underwent a second surgery that was scheduled specifically to eliminate soreness in his foot. And now soreness has re-emerged. And with the calendar inside of a week of his announced timeframe to return to the lineup, there is no telling when Durant will be back.
We will report on the press conference as it unfolds.
*Thanks to Endless Paradise for spotting Mayberry's tweet