Last season Kevin Durant and Breanna Stewart both have missed significant time over the last two years due Achilles injuries. Kevin Durant suffered his injury in game five of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. With 9:46 left in the second quarter of the game, Durant collapse to the floor, grabbing his Achilles, he would try to limp off by himself, but would need assistance from former Warriors’ teammate Andre Iguodala and the team’s director, Rick Celebrini.
After the game, Warriors GM, Bob Myers revealed that Durant suffered an Achilles injury.
“It’s an Achilles injury. I don’t know the extent of it. He’ll have an MRI [Tuesday],” said Myers.
“Prior to coming back, he went through four weeks with a medical team, and it was thorough, and it was experts and multiple MRIs and multiple doctors, and we felt good about the process.”
Causing him to miss the entire 2019-20 NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets.
Meanwhile, two months earlier, Seattle Storm forward, Breanna Stewart was playing overseas, and suffered an Achilles injury, while playing EuroLeague Final Four Championship Game, which ended in a loss to UMMC Ekaterinburg. The injury occurred in the second quarter, the WNBA Regular Season MVP, the Finals MVP, and the EuroLeague MVP elevated to shoot a shot and came down on Brittney Griner‘s foot.
The injury caused Stewart to miss the entire 2019 WNBA season. Both Stewart and Durant went through the rehab process, but according to Stewart, they both leaned on each other through the process.
On Tuesday night, the Seattle Storm beat the New York Libery 105-64, as Stewart poured in 14 points, grabbed six rebounds, and one assists. During her post game interview, Stewart revealed her and KD leaned on each other throughout the rehab process.
“Yeah, we have been in touch a lot during [the] rehab process. I’m like eight weeks ahead of him as far as, when I was injured, but it is nice to have someone where you can go back and forth with,” said Stewart.
“And at that point, he and I were the only ones really going through that injury at that time and at that level. And continuing to be there for each other, and lean on each other and just be a soundboard. Because it is a tough journey and I’m sure he is just as happy to be on the other side as I am.”
Over the last three to four seasons, there have been numerous players in the NBA and WNBA, who have gone down with either Achilles tendon or ligament injuries. After Durant went down last June, Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban tweeted out, that they need to invest in research tools to get in front of devastating injuries pertaining to tendons and ligaments. Tendons and ligament injuries have sidelined players such as Kevin Durant, Wesley Matthews, DeMarcus Cousins, JJ Barea, Kristaps Porziņģis and Breanna Stewart over the last four years. Dwight Powell’s name can also be added to the list as, he is currently recovering from an Achilles injury.
Back in 2018, the Dallas Wings center, Liz Cambage announced that she was suffering from tendinitis and bursitis in her left Achilles. The Wings would later confirm, that she would be heading home to Australia to rehab her Achilles, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Last season, Cambage spoke with me about trials and tribulations, how she was able to keep herself in good spirits during the recovery period from her Achilles injury.
“It’s not hard (to keep your spirits up), especially when your job is to be an athlete and to be working out all day and be running around. When you have that taken away from you, you learn a lot about yourself and your body, but sometimes it is a blessing in disguise that we need to take a break and look after ourselves better. Going through it was tough, but now I look back on it as a blessing.”