Thunder GM Sam Presti held an impromptu press conference today that has just concluded. The conference was called in order to update reports on the status of Kevin Durant's surgically repaired foot, which has given him problems throughout the season. After reporting soreness a month ago, Durant had a new screw placed in his foot, and at that time the expectation was that he'd be back on the court by now.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, Durant's progress has not followed their initial trajectory, and Presti stated that as of this time, Durant has been "removed from basketball activities."
Sam Presti says Durant is being removed from basketball activities.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 20, 2015
The obvious question is, for low long?
Presti: "I would say out indefinitely."— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 20, 2015
He will be re-evaluated at a later point in time, but as of today Presti did not provide a time table for when that would be. Given the point that we are in the NBA season, with only 14 games remaining, this may be the remainder of the season:
Presti on if Durant is being shut down for the season: "Essentially, that's the direction we're headed right now."— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 20, 2015
Presti emphasized and re-emphasized the priority that the Thunder place on the health and well-being of all of their players, so given Durant's status as the cornerstone of their franchise, they will no doubted be extra-cautious.
"I think the most important thing is to say that he's not going to be playing right now...When he's healthy to play, and when he's able to return without that soreness, he'll be back on the floor. If that takes the rest of the regular season, if that takes the rest of the playoffs, that's what it's going to take. As I said before, the health and wellness of our players is the most important thing."
The Thunder are currently holding onto 8th seed in the Western Conference playoff race. With Durant out for the foreseeable future, Serge Ibaka likely out until the playoffs, and now Enes Kanter out due to an ankle injury sustained during the win over the Celtics, the Thunder's season may finally be at the breaking point where they cannot overcome the myriad injuries that have plagued them before the season even began.
OKC plays the Hawks tonight at the Chesapeake Arena.