Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is still experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right foot, and the reigning MVP has been officially ruled out of Friday night’s showdown against the Atlanta Hawks after missing practice on Thursday, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman.
Durant missed the first 17 games of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, and he was in and out of the lineup after he returned. He finally underwent a second procedure on the foot to try and help alleviate soreness, but now nearly a month following that, he’s still experiencing issues after upping his activity in recent days. There’s currently no timetable for his return to the court, and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks says this is all just a part of the process:
“He experienced some soreness,” Brooks repeated. “We all know that the rehab process you’re going to have some peaks and valleys, and then you just have to adjust accordingly. That’s why he was off today. He’s definitely not playing tomorrow. That’s all a part of the process with his rehab.”
Oklahoma City could really use Durant as they battle for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. The Thunder are only a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth seed, and the Pelicans have the tiebreaker.
Serge Ibaka is on the shelf for at least a month after undergoing surgery on his sore knee, and Enes Kanter sprained his ankle against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. With the injuries piling up and Durant’s return up in the air, more and more pressure will be put on Russell Westbrook to carry the load. Westbrook has been up to the task on most nights, but he can’t do this alone.