Kevin Durant suffered a right calf strain in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, and has been sidelined ever since.
Yet when the Golden State Warriors star went down, the NBA world freaked out. Everyone thought Durant had torn his Achilles.
As it turns out, that’s what Durant thought, too.
“Once I came down from the shot, I pushed off to run back down court and I thought somebody tripped me up,” Durant said on Friday in his first interview since the injury, via The Athletic. “I looked back and the first thing that came to my mind was Boogie said, Kobe said, Dominique Wilkins said it felt like somebody kicked them or something tripped them.
“That’s the first thing that came to my mind. I was like, ‘I need to slow down and process a bit what’s going on.’ Then I started walking, realized that I could put some weight on it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was pretty relieved after that.”
After rewatching the video, Durant understood why everyone was so on edge.
“I seen the clip. Reggie Miller’s screaming, ‘That’s the Achilles! That’s the Achilles!‘” Durant said, via The Athletic. “Obviously, everybody’s going to be a little nervous.”
Kevin Durant takes us through the moment he thought he might’ve torn his Achilles, thinking back to descriptions from Kobe, Cousins and Dominique about the injury pic.twitter.com/3uApzJFKsm— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 24, 2019
Durant, Boogie still unsure of status
Durant said Friday his calf strain is “worse” than the previous two that he’s suffered in his career, and he’s still not sure when he’ll be ready to return to the court.
“I don’t know,” Durant said, via The Athletic. “I’m just taking it a second at a time. Everything we do in the weight room, I just try to focus on that rep, not try to think too far down the line. I’m leaving it in the hands of the team doctors.”
While he’s progressing, Durant still likely won’t be ready for the start of the NBA Finals next week. The team announced on Thursday that he’s still not been cleared for on-court activities, but hasn’t ruled out a return this postseason.
“Durant continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation,” the Warriors said in a statement. “At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it’s hopeful that he could return at some point during the series.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Thursday, regardless of whether the Warriors take on the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks. Both Durant and DeMarcus Cousins — who tore his left quad in their opening-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers — are set to be reevaluated on Wednesday, one day before Game 1.
While Durant is still completely unsure of his status, Cousins said he’s feeling significantly better.
“I feel good. A lot better than I was,” Cousins said Thursday, via the San Jose Mercury News. “I’m able to get up and down the court more. I’m able to play a little competition basketball.
“I’m in a lot better place.”
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