Like many other NBA players have done, Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has decided to share some words of advice with Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant, who went down with an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Leonard is a player who is familiar with long-term injuries, and what it takes to recover from one. He missed the majority of last season due to a quad injury and subsequent rehabilitation process. Now he’s sending words of encouragement in Durant’s direction:
Based on his own experience, Kawhi shared what advice he'd give KD. pic.twitter.com/4ubHgPKInV
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 12, 2019
Durant’s injury occurred in the early stages of the second quarter. After bringing the ball across the timeline, he picked up a screen near the three-point line, which drew Raptors forward Serge Ibaka into defensive position. Everything seemed fine — until Durant planted his right foot:
Durant was unable to return to action after the incident. Initial reports of an Achilles tendon injury were later confirmed. He underwent a surgical procedure on Wednesday to address the injury. The procedure was a success, and he later posted a message on Instagram to explain his mindset:
“What’s good, everybody?” Durant wrote in his Instagram post. “I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY.
“My road back starts now!” Durant added. “I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way.”
At this point, it’s not clear how long Durant will be out of commission. Other athletes who have went through a similar rehab process were sidelined anywhere from 10 months to two years. Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins was out for 357 days with his Achilles injury. Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, however, managed to recover in 240 days.
Kevin Durant has had surgery on his achilles. These are other NBA Players that have had achilles injuries and how long they were out pic.twitter.com/8TFNWzNUC8
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) June 12, 2019
The Raptors and Warriors will meet for Game 6 on Thursday night. The ball will tip for the last time inside Oracle Arena at 9:00 p.m. ET, with ABC having live broadcast coverage.