After nearly four weeks off the court because of a calf injury, Kevin Durant returned for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He made it 12 minutes before leaving with what was later revealed to be an Achilles’ injury.

For weeks, one of the biggest storylines of the playoffs has been playing out off the court. Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. The question of whether or not he’d be able to return in time to make a difference in the NBA Finals took on even greater importance as the Raptors took two games on the road and pulled out a 3-1 series lead.

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Durant returned for Game 5 and was incredible in the first quarter, draining 3-pointers and racking up 11 points in 12 minutes. And then, dribbling on the wing, he appeared to reinjure his calf and had to be helped off the court. It was another non-contact injury but slow-motion video shared widely on social media appeared to show his calf twitching violently before he went down. It seemed obvious that Durant would not return and video later showed him leaving the arena on crutches.

This was almost certainly going to be the end of his NBA Finals run but, after the game, it was revealed that the injury was much more serious than a re-aggravation of the previous calf injury. After the normal postgame pressers had wrapped, Warriors president Bob Myers took the podium, fighting back tears, and announced that Durant had suffered an Achilles’ injury.

Durant will obtain an MRI tomorrow with extra particulars to observe however current Achilles’ tears for gamers like DeMarcus Cousins and Kobe Bryant had restoration timelines that spanned a season or extra. Whether it is an Achilles’ tear, it may very well be a devastating blow to Durant’s athleticism and chew up a good portion of his remaining prime years, proper as he’s about to enter free company and doubtlessly reshape the aggressive steadiness of the league.

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The damage will even, sadly, depart loads of room for decent takes and finger-pointing. The notion is that the Warriors had been working the media and, most likely, Durant behind closed doorways urging him to get again on the ground. Myers was fast to level out that he had been cleared by their medical workers and this was a collaborative determination however that received’t quiet the indignant columns to return. As well as, Durant’s preliminary damage appeared to many beginner Twitter medical doctors to be an Achilles’ damage and the truth that he later sustained one can be ceaselessly linked.

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Right here’s hoping the damage isn’t as severe because it seems to be and Durant’s restoration passes within the blink of a watch.

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