By Ellen Chlumecky
It was reported on Sunday that the superstar small forward of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant, has a fracture in his right foot and is scheduled to miss out on the first month of the season. As ESPN News addressed, he is reported to have a broken bone at the base of the small toe. The irony of it all is that Durant does not miss games very often; missing just six games in the last five seasons. He leads the NBA in several aspects of the game: games, minutes, and points at this time. He only trails LeBron James in win shares. Many people debate that he may even dominate LeBron James in the whole game itself. However, with this recent injury, he might not be able to catch up with James by the time he returns. It does however give his teammates a chance to step up, especially Russell Westbrook.
The general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder reported that the foot fracture is the most common surgical procedure performed on NBA players in the game today. The procedure has happened so frequently that doctors are aware that there is enough examples and previous instances to predict an average recovery time. While surgery seems preeminent in his future, the general manager wants Durant to continue to go under consistent evaluation over the next few days just as a precautionary action. They have yet to have a press conference discussing the matter openly.
ESPN was one of the first news sources to report the injury. They interviewed the general manager, Sam Presti. Presti is hopeful that Durant will return in the allotted time reported. He is also discussing cutting down on Durant’s playing time because he wants to take stress off Durant. ESPN reflected the injury as a positive opportunity for Durant’s other teammates to step up into a leadership role.
Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report also reported on the injury. Both reports talked about how Durant’s injury is going to be a major detriment to the Thunder’s upcoming season. Both sources spent the majority of their articles discussing how big of a detriment the length of the injury and how other players have or have not come back from the injury. The other main point they made is how Russell Westbrook has a chance to step up but might not have what it takes.
Whether or not either news report is right about Westbrook, there is no option for Westbrook at this point. We will have to see whether or not Westbrook steps up or falls under the pressure.