Anything is possible.
The science and history regarding the 30-year-old Durant’s injury suggests that he faces a long and uncertain road to regaining the level of performance that made him one of the game’s transformative stars over the past decade. Many players return from the injury, but often don’t reach their pre-injury heights—particularly as they get older.
An Achilles tendon is vital to the basic movement NBA players make on the court. The complete rupture itself occurs when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, completely rips. The “explosive nature of professional basketball, and both starting, stopping, lateral cutting, jumping” that is integral to basketball can severely strain the Achilles tendon, said Dr. Douglas L. Cerynik, chief executive officer of Stabiliz Orthopaedics, who co-wrote a 2013 study on NBA players and Achilles injuries in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
One player who seemingly defied the odds was Dominique Wilkins, the Atlanta Hawks star who ruptured his Achilles at the age of 32 in January 1992. Remarkably, Wilkins returned the next season an improved player.
With mere minutes left in an April 2013 game, former Laker great Kobe Bryant ruptured his Achilles tendon at age 34. Bryant hobbled off the court only after he made two free-throws. But even that toughness could not bring Bryant’s glory days back.
Former Knicks center Patrick Ewing also suffered a drastic statistical downturn in his career after tearing his Achilles during the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. Ewing had previously suffered Achilles tendinitis and a host of other injuries.
“From a data perspective, the older the patient is with an Achilles tendon rupture, the less likely they are to [return] to the pre-injury state,” said Dr. Nirav Amin, a surgeon at Restore Orthopedics and associate professor of orthopedic surgery who conducted the study along with Dr. Cerynik and others. wsj.com
1 day ago
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One of the toughest matchups in the tournament! Vote for your favorite by commenting!
1. 4th and Goal OT Stop against Miami (OH)
2. Reynolds Sideline Pick against Navy
3. Nachtigal Strip Sack for TD against Houston