Kevin Durant suffered a fracture in his right foot after practice on Saturday and may miss six to eight weeks recovering from surgery, Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a press release Sunday morning:
“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 6-8 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.”
Presti didn’t put a hard timetable on Durant’s return, but suggested six to eight weeks as a precedent for this injury. With about two weeks to go before the the start of the regular season, Durant is slated to miss at least the first month of the season and maybe more. It’s bad news for the Thunder, who play a schedule heavy on Western Conference playoff teams in November, including games against the Blazers, Clippers, Grizzles, Rockets and Warriors.
It’s impossible to replace a player as good as Durant, and the Thunder have no clear-cut choice to fill in. Perry Jones III and Andre Roberson will likely see the majority of the minutes at small forward while he’s out.
Needless to say, losing the reigning NBA’s reigning MVP for the first part of the season is a devastating blow to the Thunder and dramatically changes the balance of power in the Western Conference. It’s unfortunate when anyone gets hurt, but losing one of the league’s brightest stars and the consensus second-best player in the world is awful news for NBA fans everywhere.