Kevin Durant potentially has played his last game with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant, who was sidelined for over a month with a calf injury, made his triumphant return to the court Monday night for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. After a strong start to the game, the star forward went down with an apparent leg injury early in the second quarter and needed assistance while making his way back to the locker room.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the ailment in question wasn’t a reaggravation of the calf. Instead, it’s far worse.
There’s never a good time for an injury, but the reported torn Achilles comes at a particularly troublesome time for Durant, who soon will be the crown jewel of the open market when free agency opens July 1. It remains to be seen if the injury will affect any team’s pursuit of the two-time Finals MVP.
As far as a timetable for return goes, it obviously varies from player to player. But let’s take a look at Durant’s Warriors teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, as an example. The star big man tore his Achilles on Jan. 26 of last year and underwent season-ending surgery five days later. Cousins didn’t return to NBA game action until Jan. 18 of this year. Durant might not require a year-long recovery like Cousins, but if he did indeed tear his Achilles, it obviously won’t be a quick turnaround to full health.
As for Golden State, it kept its dream of winning a third consecutive championship alive by holding on for a nail-biting Game 5 win. The victory reinvigorated Durant, who took to his Instagram story to share a slightly NSFW message after the game.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals will be played Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images