Kevin Durant is ready to roll, but he won’t go from zero to one hundred right out of the gate.
Over a year ago, Kevin Durant was playing in the 2019 NBA Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
At the time, the Warriors’ superstar knew he was battling through a calf injury. Whether he should’ve been playing or not is debatable, but that wasn’t an option to the former league MVP.
Durant put everything he had on the line and unfortunately came up short. Not only did the Warriors find themselves defeated by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, but Durant also suffered a significant injury, which turned out to be a torn Achilles.
As expected, Durant was set to miss a huge chunk of time, which turned out to be the entire 2019-2020 NBA season. Last summer, Durant tested free agency and inked a long-term deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
Although he didn’t get to debut in Brooklyn for the first time last year, Durant is anticipating his first season with the Nets this year as the season is set to tip-off weeks from now. With training camp getting started this week — Durant is excited to be back in action.
However, the 32-year-old veteran isn’t pressing his luck. As he met with reporters virtually on Tuesday, Durant admitted that he’s not going into the season with any expectations for his body as he returns from the injury.
“Who knows?” he said to the AP on Tuesday in regards to whether he’ll be back to his old self or not. “I’ve just got to see how I feel in a real NBA game again.”
Injuries are somewhat common in the NBA. Durant’s Achilles injury wasn’t his first setback — and might not be his last. But the veteran forward admits that this degree of injury did shock him at first.
“I’ve been through surgeries and injuries before, but the longest recovery I had was three months,” the veteran said. “But the first phase of the Achilles, I couldn’t walk or run. You had to use a scooter. So I think those milestones of reaching, like learning how to walk, learning how to run, jump again, and getting used to certain movements again, I think that’s underestimated.”
So far, all is going well for Durant’s official return after one day of practice. Typically, a player of his caliber would be over-eager about his return from a major injury — but the Nets’ forward is keeping reality in check — and taking it one day at a time.
Justin Grasso covers the NBA for The Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_