Kobe, Cousins, Durant and the dubious return of Achilles' injury

Durant has suffered one of the most terrible injuries in the league, and the biggest doubt is knowing how he will return to the courts; thus other players came back from the Achilles tendon rupture.


Kevin Durant's injury in Game 5 of the Finals has overturned NBA. The forward already fell in the semifinals against the Rockets, but forced to be with their own in a duel that was win or go home for the Warriors and paid more than. He had to retire in the second room helped by his teammates in an image that is already part of the history of the League and that leaves the star with an uncertain future.

All points to that the Achilles tendon has been broken, a of the most serious injuries a basketball professional can have. This type of annoyance has taken many players ahead, some of them in recent years, and for the forward, 30 years, can mark a before and after. Without going any further and in the short term, he could have it reconsidered next year, making effective the player option he has with his current team (of 31 million) and recovering in Golden State. Recall that everything pointed to his fate was, in theory, far from La Bahía, but now everything has changed.

Maximum doubt if finally confirm the forecasts that speak of the rupture in the tendon is the level that can return the eave when I return to the courts. " There's nothing worse than a broken Achilles" is said in the NBA. The average recovery of this injury varies between 6 months and a year, but there are basketball players who have never returned to the courts after suffering it.

According to the NBA, a 2013 study recognized 18 players who had suffered from this injury between 1988 and 2011. Seven of them never played again, while the remaining 11 returned, but with a decrease in the number of minutes and minutes. on track. Next, we review the last basketball players who have suffered this break and analyze how they returned to the court after the same.

DeMarcus Cousins

was the last victim. The center was setting the best basketball of his career in the Pelicans and his union with Anthony Davis in the paint on a team that had people like Rajon Rondo or Jrue Holiday was beginning to pay off. The timing of his injury could not be worse. He fell on January 26 in a season in which he was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks. The Pelicans had 4 wins in a row and 7 in the last 8 games. In this streak, the pivot was in 22 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He signed double-double in all those matches, and in two of them triple-double, including the last, in which he added it in less than 30 minutes before falling and saying goodbye to the season. Two games before he had signed a 44 + 23 + 10 + 4 (with 1 stopper) in a duel with extension to the Bulls. His fall could not come at a worse time.

The pivot signed for the Warriors in summers looking for the ring (for just over 5 million) and returned to the Clippers on January 18, and although it has set good games, physically not It is the old one. In playoffs broke before the Clippers in the first round and has returned to the Finals, where he is complying despite all the physical discomfort that starts, although far from the averages of his best days. Of course, it is still early to talk about whether the player is recovered or not. He is 28 years old and a free agent, so he could look for new horizons in which to re-develop the physical and dominant basketball he showed before falling. Will it depend on how the Finals are? We will see.

Kobe Bryant

One of the most painful of recent times and that, in the long run, took the career of one of the best players in history. Kobe fell on April 12, 2013 in a game against the Golden State Warriors. He came from playing almost 46 minutes per game in the last 7 games, and just in the previous one against the Blazers he had played the whole match (47 points). Neither had rested before those of the Bay, to which endorsed 34 points. He put the Lakers in the playoffs in a titanic season in which he made a superhuman effort. It was the last great season of Kobe. The last time he was seen at its best until the game of his retirement (those 60 points) .

A his return can be defined almost as a slow agony. On December 8, 2013, he returned against the Raptors. He played only 6 games. 35 in the following season. And 66 in the last one. His numbers went down and he stayed at a sluggish 37% in field shots in that time period (in the rest of his career he averaged around 45%), averaging 19 points per game in those seasons when in his career he has reached It's true that his best years had already passed and that he was close to 35 when he broke up, but the injury left usIn the doubt of seeing until when could have shown the level of that season.

Rudy Gay and Wesley Matthews

The first one was injured in 2017, when he was making a great basketball in the Kings. It was a case similar to that of Cousins: 20 points and 7 rebounds (with 46% in triples) in the six games prior to the injury. Matthews on the other hand broke in 2015 when he wore the Blazers jersey. Less than ten days before he had scored his top score of the season (31 points) before the Spurs. His team came from 5 wins in a row. Without him, they achieved a record of 10-12 in the last matches.

They are precedents that give options to Durant, although with certain reservations. Gay, who before the injury had never dropped below the average of 34 minutes, is now 24 in the Spurs. Their statistics have also fallen. Yes, we have seen good games with San Antonio and the retriection of minutes is one of the bases of Popovich basketball. In addition, the player is no longer the first sword in attack as it was in attack and it is normal that his numbers have been depleted.

A Matthews have also seen him with good feelings since his return and remains an important player in the league. played 78 games in Dallas the following season, a great return for such a serious injury. Of course, he saw his numbers go down and went from 45% in field shots to 38, seeing how his averages in points per game also fell.

More tendon ruptures and Durant options

These have been the most recent cases of the Achilles tendon rupture, although they have not been the only ones. It happened to Diminique Wilkins in his day. It is one of the cases that can give more hope to Durant. He was injured with 32 years, but returned in the following campaign and averaged 29.9 points per game being elected in the second Best Quintet of the League. and playing 71 games. A good precedent

Brandon Jennings also suffered the break, but had less luck. The same happened to Billups, who was 35 when he was a victim of the tendon. However, traditionally are the pivots have less chance of returning in full form. They are bigger, they support more weight, and their adaptation back to the field is more complicated. It happened to Anderson Varejao, who fell and did not return to play at his best level, adding only 67 games in the following two seasons. More of the same for Mehmet Okur, who added only 30 matches also in the two campaigns following his injury.

Durant is another story. He is tall, but he is lighter and does not have a long history of injuries (beyond the 27 games of 2014/15). Eso yes, it is not as young as before and we will have to see how it recovers from a break of these characteristics. Your resilience is not a problem. The NBA players prepare their whole career for this kind of thing. Your physical capacity is something else. Without being a player based on your physique as much as LeBron or Westbrook, you will need a minimum to return to a good level. We therefore enter a new stage in the career of the star: the important thing is not the when but the how. Your return will be given sooner or later. Now it will be necessary to see in what conditions it does.

" I lost the explosiveness, I never recovered it completely. I had to change my mentality, adapt ". These were the words of Elton Brand after falling in 2007 prey to the rupture of the Achilles tendon. He recognized that he was never the same again. Will Durant be able to return to his best level? Only time will tell. Injuries do not forgive anyone. To the best players in history either.



Photos from as.com

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