Over the last three or four years, NBA and WNBA players have been on the shelf due to various injuries. One injury, in particular, that keeps plaguing both leagues has been ruptured Achilles tendons. Kevin Durant, Wesley Matthews, DeMarcus Cousins, JJ Barea, Kristaps Porziņģis Breanna Stewart, Dwight Powell, Liz Cambage, Chiney Ogwumike, and now Kelsey Plum have all dealt with Achilles tendon injuries over the past four years.
Kevin Durant suffered his injury in game five of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors as he was attempting to make his move on his former teammate Serge Ibaka, and he collapsed to the floor. Although Kevin Durant was grabbing his Achilles, he would later try to limp off by himself. Still, he would need assistance from former Warriors’ teammate Andre Iguodala and the team’s director, Rick Celebrini.
Following 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.”
The injury caused the former two-time Finals MVP to miss the 2019-20 season with the Brooklyn Nets.
Meanwhile, a few months before Durant’s injury, Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart went down with a ruptured Achilles injury playing overseas in the EuroLeague Final Four Championship.
Stewart would miss the entire 2019 WNBA season, and had to go through the rehab process. Stewart made her return to the WNBA after two seasons due to injury.
However, during the rehab process, Durant and Stewart leaned on each other, according to Stewart.
Two weeks ago, after the Storm beat the New York Liberty, I spoke with Stewart and asked her if she was in contact with Durant during 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.”
Before the WNBA was scheduled to start, Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum announced that she tore her Achilles on June 11th.
“Where do I start….I tore my achillies tendon couple days ago. So many people that love and support me and will stand by me through this, I’m grateful. I’ll be back, better than ever. Just wait on it,” she tweeted.
“All of Las Vegas is in Kelsey’s corner, and pulling for a quick recovery,” Aces general manager Dan Padover said in a statement. “We know that she will attack her rehabilitation with the same intensity with which she attacks the court.”
Recently, Durant, Plum, and Stewart filmed an episode of Stewie’s World Podcast, and the trio discussed quarantine and updates on their recovery process. In addition, Plum was asked how the beginning of the rehab process was going.
“Yeah, it is going great, I am about ten weeks out. So, I got the boot off, I’m walking and BFR is kicking my a**, but it’s going good,” said Plum. “I feel super blessed, especially in quarantine to be able to do PT [Physical Therapy], and being able to lift and train still, so I’m doing good.”
Durant was also asked how he was doing and how’s his leg.
“I’m getting better. I’m at the stage where I’m starting to play a little pick now. SO, moving up and down the court a little bit, said Durant. “I’m getting started to move up and down the court a bit. I’m getting started every day. You know that calf muscle is that last stage. So, I am building that up every day.”
So, what was the worse part for both Plum and Durant during the first two months?
“To me, I was full throttle and obviously what happened in the Finals is the peak of competition, and to know that I could not walk for the next month and a half. I think that was the toughest part, and not being able to do the small normal things,” Durant shared. “In life that I enjoy, getting up and brushing my teeth whenever I wanted to. Now, it seems like a production, I had to get everything set up and ready. Taking a shower was stressful, so made me appreciate the little things in life, but it was definitely tough the first couple of months.”
As for Plum: “Well, I had a nice little scooter, that I would zip around, and that saved my life. Well, I learned that I have the smallest bladder ever, cause normally, I got to the bathroom can scoot on over. Now, I have to find the crutches, and I have to maneuver, and that was rough. Like I almost peed on myself a couple of times.”
Stewart also reminisced about her process as well.
“Now, I remember back, and it is like there is no like being graceful when can’t step on your other leg,” said Stewart. “You are like slamming down on the couch slamming down on the toilet. “I would get ready on the counter of the bathroom, so I didn’t have to stand because my other leg was a little soar.”