Thunder GM Sam Presti: Kevin Durant fully cleared for training camp
Oklahoma City Thunder fans — and arguably NBA fans as a whole — have reason to be encouraged about the upcoming season after Sam Presti announced Kevin Durant has been “cleared to participate” fully in training camp.
“In terms of limitations, he does not have any,” Presti told the assembled media, via NewsOK.com’s Anthony Slater, who live-tweeted the event via his official social media handle.
Presti noted that the plan for Durant going forward will be “something that evolves” and that “a lot of that is conversation, collaboration.” He also stressed that the Thunder wouldn’t have done anything differently in how it approached dealing with Durant’s injuries last season.
Regarding how the team will manage Durant’s minutes early on, Presti said it will be “something [new head coach] Billy [Donovan] and Kevin and our medical team will work on.”
With Durant’s future in OKC in limbo given he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, Presti acknowledged it’s something the organization won’t avoid.
“We’re not going to bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s not there,” he said.
Coming off an outstanding season that earned him MVP honors, Durant obviously had an injury-plagued 2014-15 campaign that began even before the season started, beginning with a diagnosis of a Jones fracture in his right foot in early October. He underwent surgery and the recovery robbed him of the season’s first 17 games.
Durant played sporadically the remainder of the season before undergoing another minor surgical procedure to reduce pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired right foot in February. After expressing in early March there was “no doubt” he would return before season’s end, lingering soreness led to the determination that Durant would be shut down for the season. Bone graft surgery followed in late March, with a recovery time optimistically estimated to be between four and six months.
All told, Durant played in only 27 games. He admitted he was “pissed” over all the injury talk last season, so expect KD to be hungrier than ever coming into this season. Whether or not he can remain healthy, though, continues to be an unknown.