Pelicans & NBA Basketball

Kevin Durant: ‘I’m hurting deeply, but I’m OK’ following Achilles surgery

Though there is not an official timetable outlined for his recovery, Kevin Durant revealed on his Instagram page that he had surgery on Wednesday to treat a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

"My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way," Durant wrote on Instagram about the injury he suffered against Toronto in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday. "I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that's what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat."

The Warriors did not have an official update following Wednesday's practice. Durant traveled to New York on Tuesday to receive an MRI and seek more medical opinions, an area that is typical for NBA players to receive additional medical support. It has typically taken NBA athletes anywhere between 8 to 12 months to recover from an Achilles injury, with factors ranging on the players' age, their talent, their role and the quality of the organization's teaming staff. According to that timeline, Durant might not return until June 2020.

"It's just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W," Durant said on Instagram. It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I'm a hooper. I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it."

Durant will be 31 years old in September, which puts him in a gray area pertaining to his recovery. He would be in the prime of his NBA career entering his 13th NBA season. It might be more difficult, however, to maintain his level of play following his return as opposed to if he injured an Achilles earlier in his career.

Durant averaged 26 points on 52.1% shooting along with 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists this season, numbers that mostly align with his career averages in points (27.0), shooting percentage (49.3), rebounds (7.1) and assists (4.1). In a recent story projecting Durant's place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, Warriors coaches argued that Durant's game would age well because of his consistent post-up presence, footwork and underlisted 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame.

The backdrop to this story: whether Durant's injury impacts his free-agency decision in July. Assuming he opts out of his $31.5 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent, Durant can re-sign with the Warriors for five years worth $221 million. If he leaves for another team, Durant could sign a four-year deal worth $164 million.

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