Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced Friday, with an expectation he’ll return to basketball activities in four to six months.
Durant has been unable to fully recover from a Jones fracture in his right foot suffered during preseason. He is scheduled to undergo a third surgical procedure.
The announcement comes one week after the team indefinitely pulled Durant from basketball-related activities due to lingering questions about his healing process. Durant only managed 27 appearances this season, posting averages of 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Without Durant, and with power forward Serge Ibaka recovering from knee surgery, it will be almost impossible for the Thunder to make any noise against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs should they make it that far. With 10 games remaining in their season, Oklahoma City currently holds a three-game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed in the West. The New Orleans Pelicans are three-and-a-half games back.
Barring a collapse, the Thunder should make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, but at this point, they’re waiting for next year, and hoping their star forward gets healthy