Warriors Star Kevin Durant finally experienced a moment of clarity on his injured right calf. Durant is expected to play when the Warriors face the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.
Granted, Durant’s return elicits more questions. To what extent can Durant mirror his league-leading 34.2 points he averaged during the NBA playoffs before injuring his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals
Dr. Adam Rivadeneyra, sports medicine specialist with Hoag Orthopedic Institute, spoke with Bay Area News Group about Kevin Durant’s return and the nature of his injury that might explain his prolonged absence. Obvious disclaimer: Dr. Rivadeneyra does not work with Durant. Nor does Dr. Rivadeneyra have access to Durant’s medical records. Considering the Warriors typically do not have their training staff available to the media, Dr. Rivadeneyra offered a general overview of the challenges Durant may have faced with his injury. Below is a Q&A edited for length and clarity.
“Being out now for about a month, his cardiovascular fitness would be one of the concerns. Is he fit enough to play normal minutes? That might require fewer minutes overall. He might have a prolonged warmup or treatment right before he plays or maybe some type of supportive device to keep the muscle tendon warm as much as possible. If he’s not fully healed, he might have a tendency to move slower or not jump quite as powerfully. But it’s really hard to tell. Every situation is unique.”