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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his right foot, the team announced Sunday morning, and Durant is expected to miss upwards of eight weeks.
The team announced no official timeline for the injury, nor has Durant decided on a treatment plan just yet. Surgery is a very likely route.
Still, arguably the NBA’s top player — at least No. 1A — is at risk of missing some time at the start of the 2014-15 season. Here are five things to know about Durant’s foot fracture:
1. What is a Jones fracture?
A Jones fracture occurs in the fifth metatarsal of the foot, at the base of the small toe. The original the source of the fracture — in the mid-portion of the foot — usually results in swelling and difficulty walking.
Interestingly enough, someone with a Jones fracture may not even know that the fracture occurred.
2. How’s it treated?
Treatment for a Jones fracture varies depending on the severity of the fracture. Potentially, the fracture could heal quickly and without any complications. However, surgery is the usual course of action.
Treatment usually involves a cast, split or walking boot for six to eight weeks, which is usually enough for 75 percent of cases. Sports injuries, however, tend to require surgery.
Surgery, followed by an additional two to three weeks of rehabilitation, is a normal schedule for those with the injury. Age plays a key role in healing time. Usual healing time lasts from four to six weeks, and Durant is only 26 years old.
3. Cause for concern?
Durant has started every career game he has played since entering the NBA in 2007-08, and missed just six games over the last five seasons. In that time, he has led the NBA in games, minutes and points with 388, 15,064 and 11,356, respectfully.
This Jones fracture marks the first serious injury he has suffered in his pro career.
4. The schedule ahead
According to the timeline of eight weeks, Durant would miss the first 19 games of the season and be back on the court in late November or early December. With Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder should be in a pretty favorable position in the Western Conference upon Durant’s return.
5. Who could step in?
Aside from the obvious candidates in Westbrook and Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones and Reggie Jackson could be in line for more scoring opportunities. And if those players are the ones shouldering the workload, the Thunder may be forced to use a smaller lineup.
That puts OKC in a bad position against teams like the Spurs, Trailblazers, and Rockets. They play Portland and Houston each one time before December, largely going up against non-playoff teams and a weak portion of their schedule in the first six weeks.
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