Kevin Durant says he has ‘no doubt’ he’ll return this season
Kevin Durant sat down for a Q&A with The Oklahoman and expressed complete confidence he’ll return to the court this season.
“No doubt. No doubt,” Durant said when asked about his thoughts about returning this season. “I’m looking forward to returning this season. No doubt. I’m not packing it in at all.
The sidelined Oklahoma City Thunder superstar had a second procedure on his previously surgically repaired right foot ten days ago to replace a screw that was causing irritation. Durant’s foot was reevaluated on Monday and will be reevaluated again next week.
“Um, I’m more so just focused on trying to get this pain out of it and coming back when I’m ready, when I’m 100 percent ready and not trying to force it or play with pain,” Durant stated when asked if he was happy about the outcome of the reevaluation. “Just trying to conquer this little stage I’m in right now, which is getting this thing right, working as hard as I can in the weight room and on the court. Yeah, it’s tough, but I just gotta be ready to go.”
Durant’s season has been marred by a litany of injuries. Sidelined since Feb. 22 while missing the Thunder’s last six games, he also missed four of five games in late January/early February due to a sprained big toe on his left foot. All this missed time came after Durant missed the first 17 games of the season due to a fractured right foot diagnosed in early October.
Durant was asked if this season has been particularly frustrating given he hasn’t had to deal with injuries much throughout his career until this season.
“Obviously, I’d love to play. I love playing basketball, I love my teammates and I love the organization. I want to play for them,” he said. “But it happens. It happens. It’s a part of the game.”
The Thunder received some great news when Russell Westbrook confirmed he will return to the lineup on Wednesday night for the team’s game against the 76ers. The high-scoring guard missed the team’s previous game Sunday against the Lakers after being inadvertently kneed in the head during Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers.
Despite having a roster that has been decimated by injuries all season, the Thunder (33-27) currently are sitting as the eighth seed in the tough Western Conference. If Durant makes good on his promise and returns this season, the Thunder will present an incredibly tough challenge to any first-round opponent should the team somehow limp its way into the postseason.
(photo credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)