Although controversy over the Warriors treatment of Kevin Durant’s health has calmed down since he joined the Nets, his friend and fellow All-Star John Wall suggested in an interview published Sunday that Golden State’s medical team should have known Durant was susceptible to an Achilles injury.
“I don’t like to talk about other team doctors or whatever, but if you watched Kevin, the whole time before he played that Game 5 if you watch where he was icing at, or when he had his injury, I know what a calf strain is like. I know what an Achilles injury is like,” said Wall in The Athletic.
“When you look back like that, I knew it was an Achilles injury from the start. I can’t diagnose what those doctors said. But if you look where he was icing his leg, it was the Achilles the whole time.”
In the immediate aftermath of the injury, which took place in the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA finals, the Warriors took a lot of heat for clearing KD. The Warriors were down 3-1 to the Raptors and facing elimination.
Durant had left Game 5 of the Warriors second round series with the Rockets, after suffering what was described as a mild strain. Then, a new diagnosis suggested it was more serious. After he was cleared to return and suffered the Achilles rupture, more than one orthopedist suggested that the Warriors should have understood the connection between the calf and Achilles.
There’s no indication that KD left Golden State for Brooklyn because of his treatment, but the Nets medical and performance teams are viewed among the NBA’s best. Dr. Martin O’Malley, the Nets’ foot and ankle specialist, performed Durant’s Achilles surgery at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, the Nets’ official hospital.
“I had a teammate, Sheldon Mac, that tore his Achilles the same way and once he made that same move, I knew exactly what it was,” said Wall, who suffered his own Achilles injury in a household accident in February while recuperating from bone spur surgery the month before.
The Wizards guard said he’s been in touch with Durant and believes that ultimately, he’ll be fine.
“I talk to Kevin all the time. We’re great friends. He’s doing great. He’s taking his time, I guess. I don’t know,” said Wall. “I just wish him the best. He’s one of those guys; if he has the Achilles or not, it’s not going to affect him, I feel because he can score at all levels.”
Durant is rehabbing in Los Angeles and in the latest videos posted by his friend on Instagram —and published by TMZ— he appears to be making progress, walking without a crutch, even dribbling a basketball.
FOMO is almost over for @KDTrey5!— Christopher Lavinio (@ChrisLavinio) August 2, 2019
( iamomeez via Instagram) pic.twitter.com/Lpv5tf1TGM
Now the question for the Nets, their fans —and his friends like Wall— is when he will return and at what level.
- John Wall: ‘I’m not one of those guys that wants to play for multiple teams. I want to play for one organization’ - Michael Lee - The Athletic