Photo Credit: CBSSports.com
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Kevin Durant undergoes another foot procedure

Photo Credit: CBSSports.com

Photo Credit: CBSSports.com

Kevin Durant’s injury-filled season has been full of setbacks since he returned from foot surgery early in the year, and the reigning MVP has had another setback, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Sunday.

Durant underwent a procedure on his healing right foot to alleviate ongoing soreness that has bothered him since before the All-Star break, and the Thunder star will be re-evaluated in a week. Thunder general manager Sam Presti released a statement about the procedure:

“As we have conveyed, Kevin has experienced increased soreness in his right foot recently and as a result we initiated a process to determine the best way to manage it moving forward. In order to alleviate that discomfort, it was determined after consultation with Dr. Robert Anderson, and after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Martin O’Malley, that because the fracture itself has continued to heal as anticipated, there was an opportunity to address irritation from the screw, and make an adjustment to a different piece of hardware within the foot to relieve the symptoms of his soreness.

The fracture itself is healing excellently by all accounts and we continue to feel good about the prognosis moving forward, but in the short term as he continued to have this discomfort, we wanted to determine the best way to alleviate it while still promoting the continued healing of the initial injury.

He is expected to be re-evaluated within a week to determine when he will return this regular season.”

Durant initially underwent surgery prior to the season to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The surgery forced him to miss the first month-plus of the season, and with Russell Westbrook injured for much of that time as well, Oklahoma City got off to a rough start.

Since returning to the court after the initial surgery, Durant has been in and out of the lineup. He missed six games in late December, two games near the end of January and two games at the start of February. He missed Saturday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets before it was determined that another procedure was the best way to move forward.

Oklahoma City has dragged itself back into the playoff picture, thanks in large part to the struggles of the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns have lost four games in a row and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Pelicans are dealing with injuries to Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and now Ryan Anderson.

However, credit must be given to the Thunder for taking advantage of the struggles of those two teams. Oklahoma City has won five games in a row, and Westbrook has been playing at an MVP level. Westbrook will need to continue to play like that with Durant sidelined for at least another week, if not more. The recent trades for Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler should also help the Thunder survive without Durant, but losing one of the NBA’s best players is a tough blow no matter what.

Whenever Durant comes back, the hope is that whatever soreness he has is manageable enough to allow him to play and play at a high level. The Thunder currently have the third-best odds to win the 2015 NBA title at 7/1, according to Bovada, but there’s little to no chance a title can be won if Durant isn’t at least close to his usual self. This will be a situation to monitor the rest of the season.

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