Kevin Durant seems well on his way to a full recovery from the hamstring strain that’s kept him on the sidelines for two games and counting. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar told ESPN’s Royce Young on Sunday that he feels “way better” compared to how he did just a few days prior.
“Feeling a lot better,” he said. “Way better, actually.”
Durant suffered the injury in the first half of his team’s highly-publicized road game against the Washington Wizards last Tuesday. The Thunder subsequently announced that he’d be “reevaluated in 7-10 days,” while coach Billy Donovan eased concerns by calling the former MVP’s strain “nothing too serious.”
Though his condition is improved, Durant is still taking a cautious approach to this minor injury. Hamstring issues, he says, are nothing to take lightly.
“Hamstrings are a little different,” Durant said. “You can re-injure them pretty easily if you try and play through it, or as we say now, ‘Be tough.’ I call that being dumb. But hamstring strains you can’t really try and play through it. Just got to get it right and make sure everything is perfect when I come back to play.”
All signs point to the 26-year-old superstar returning to action soon, no worse for the wear than he was before being sidelined. But despite that Durant’s left hamstring is the current cause for concern, famed NBA trainer Tim Grover writes on his blog that this latest setback could still be related to the troubles that rendered his 2014-15 season a waste – even though they came in the opposite foot.
No, everyone said, it’s the other side. Left hamstring, right ankle. Phew. Unrelated.
False. It’s all related.
You don’t have to be an athlete to experience this. Ever break your toe or twist your ankle? How’d you get around? You shifted your weight to the other side. Now you’re overcompensating with the healthy side…which won’t stay healthy for long if it has to bear the weight that should be evenly distributed on both sides.
Wilson Chandler, who was recently lost for the season due to hip surgery, told us something similar in an interview before last season. The Denver Nuggets forward said that his health was “the best it’s been in years.” Why? While rehabbing from an initial procedure on his hip, he finally focused on strengthening his entire body as opposed to just the specific site of the injury.
I think it’s one of those things where you get a major injury and people tend to focus on that one area [in rehabilitation]. But actually when you have an injury like that and you have surgery, you lose a lot of muscle mass and strength in a lot of other areas on that leg. So when I had the hip surgery I lost a lot of muscle mass and strength in the quads, the hamstring, and the glute. When I came back from rehab I focused more on the specific area I had surgery on instead of the other muscles around it. That’s one of the things I focused on this summer – really building up areas that support the hip.
Chandler, obviously, did all he could to ensure his injury woes would be gone for good. But the body sometimes doesn’t cooperate – no matter how diligently one works to make it do just that.
There’s no new reason to believe that Durant will suffer a similar fate. He’s on track to be back on the court next week. But every time he goes down with a new affliction, it’s pertinent that Durant and Oklahoma City medical personnel proceed with the knowledge that past injury could be the cause of it.