Ailing Durant shut down, no return timetable
Updated: March 20, 2015, 10:41 PM ET
By Royce Young | ESPN.com
Presti Uncertain On Durant’s Return
Kevin Durant has been “removed from basketball activities” and could be shut down for the season, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced Friday.
“He’s not making the progress we’d hoped or expected,” Presti said.
When asked whether Durant was being shut down for the season, Presti said, “Essentially, that’s the direction we’re headed right now.”
Durant was held out of practice Thursday as he was “experiencing a little bit of soreness,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Thursday.
Durant underwent surgery Feb. 23 to attempt to alleviate soreness and discomfort in his right foot that was being caused by a screw inserted in October during a procedure to repair a Jones fracture. After the second procedure, Durant was re-evaluated after a week, then re-evaluated again after another week, at which point Brooks updated the player’s timetable to a “week or two.”
“The goal is to get him back on the court healthy, whenever that is,” Presti said Friday.
Durant had intensified his on-court workouts in the past couple of weeks, returning Saturday to participate in parts of practice, including some 3-on-3. But the soreness that plagued him before the All-Star break and pushed him toward the second surgery has not been resolved yet.
Up until Thursday, Durant has been said to be progressing well and on the right track.
“Unless he’s able to be back on the floor without soreness, he won’t be back on the floor,” Presti said.
The reigning league MVP, Durant is averaging 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 27 games this season.
Reacting to the news, Westgate SuperBook on Friday moved the Thunder’s odds to win the NBA title from 8-1 to 20-1. On Monday, Oklahoma City, along with San Antonio, had the second-best odds in the West, behind only Golden State.
Oklahoma City beat Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, 123-115, to move to 39-30.