When Kevin Durant went down in the early second quarter of Game 5, the initial thought of many was that he had aggravated his right calf injury. A month before, Durant reached for a similar spot on his leg after a non-contact injury, causing some initial fear that it was an Achilles, but in that moment, it turned out to “just” be a calf strain.
After 32 days of rehab, Durant was finally cleared to play in Game 5, but after it was announced he’d suffered an Achilles injury — which we now know is a ruptured Achilles that resulted in surgery on Wednesday — it was hard not to wonder if he’d been rushed back. The backlash to the Warriors letting Durant play was immediate, and president Bob Myers noted in his press conference after Game 5 he understood the need to seek out someone to blame for Durant’s devastating injury.
The discussion over the last two days has been all over the map, with debates about whether the Warriors should have been more protective of Durant, who as a competitor would naturally want to play. Some speculated Golden State’s medical staff misdiagnosed the injury, and others felt Durant had been pressured to come back too soon by internal and external chatter.
On Wednesday, Steve Kerr met with the media and explained the process of how Durant came to be cleared, noting that it was a collaborative decision between the Warriors medical staff and outside doctors who had provided a second opinion for Durant.