Kevin Durant looked absolutely sensational in his return in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but it was short-lived.
After being forced to leave the game with what the Warriors called an Achilles injury, Durant himself announced on Wednesday that he underwent “successful” surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. Durant took to his Instagram account to break the news and seemed to be in good spirits despite a lengthy road to recovery ahead.
The star forward said “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.”
Following Game 5, Durant left Scotiabank Arena on crutches after suffering the Achilles injury. In addition, Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the Warriors feared that Durant tore his Achilles tendon, and that claim was obviously founded considering that Durant quickly had surgery.
Early in the second quarter of Game 5, Durant attempted to plant while being guarded by Serge Ibaka and he appeared to re-injure his right leg. Durant had to be helped to the locker room by teammates Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala.
Prior to suffering the injury, Durant ended up scoring 11 points on 3-of-5 from the field and recorded a block for Golden State. Durant also connected on all three of his attempts from beyond the arc in the opening 12 minutes. Ironically, his only miss during the opening frame was an airball, but that may be par for the course considering Durant hadn’t played in over a month.
Durant was expected to opt out of his current contract with the Warriors following the season and become an unrestricted free agent, but it’s unclear if this significant injury will alter his plans at all. The New York Knicks have been labeled as a potential landing spot if he opts out and Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the Knicks still plan to offer Durant a max contract even with a severe injury.