Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon has been a “success” and the road to recovery “starts now”.
Durant underwent surgery on Wednesday less than 48 hours after he sustained the injury on Monday against the Toronto Raptors.
“My road back starts now,” he wrote on Instagram in a post accompanied by a picture of him in a hospital bed.
“Like I said Monday, I’m hurting deeply, but I’m OK. 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.”
Durant was referring to his long-awaited return for the NBA Finals, which lasted barely one quarter, before he suffered the injury.
Live NBA: Toronto @ Golden State
The two-time NBA Finals most valuable player (MVP) had missed the first four games of the series with a calf injury, and the Warriors had been excited to have him back for a game they had to win to stay alive.
Despite losing Durant early, the Warriors won 106-105 in Toronto to extend the best-of-seven series, which the Raptors lead 3-2 ahead of game six in Oakland, California on Thursday.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr defended the decision to play the four-times NBA leading scorer in game five of the NBA Finals, saying it had been a collaborative one that included the player and his outside doctor.
“Would we go back and do it over again? Damn right, but that’s easy to say after the results,” Kerr said.
“Our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a re-injury of the calf.
“Once Kevin was cleared to play he was comfortable with that, we were comfortable with that, so the Achilles came as a complete shock.”
Durant, 30, is set to miss at least the start of next season, with complete recovery from his type of injury expected to take at least a year.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals takes place in Oakland in the early hours of Friday morning (2am) live on Sky Sports Arena.