Kevin Durant 'removed from basketball activities,' could miss rest of season

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Kevin Durant 'removed from basketball activities,' could miss rest of season
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Kevin Durant
    Kevin Durant
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Sam Presti
    American basketball executive

Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced Friday that All-Star forward Kevin Durant, the league's reigning Most Valuable Player, "has been removed from basketball activities on the floor," a significant setback in Durant's attempts to return to game action after undergoing another surgical procedure on his right foot last month.

[DraftKings: FREE entry to huge cash Fantasy Basketball Contest with first deposit]

Durant has been limited to just 27 games after suffering a Jones fracture to his right foot just before the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. He has missed Oklahoma City's last 13 games, suiting up for one post-All-Star-break contest — a Feb. 19 win over the Dallas Mavericks — before exiting with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Durant said March 4 that he didn't plan on "packing it in" after his post-All-Star setback, and had been ramping up his work in practice of late in anticipation of a return. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said last week that Durant was "one to two weeks" from a return.

New concerns arose Thursday, however, as Durant sat out Thunder practice "with another bout of soreness in his surgically repaired right foot."

Brooks declined to offer a timetable for Durant's return or much in the way of specifics on his setback on Thursday. The comparatively small amount of light Presti shed on the proceedings Friday wound up sounding pretty dark.

"He's not making the progress we had hoped," Presti told reporters. "[...] I would say out indefinitely."

"Indefinitely" doesn't necessarily preclude Durant from returning this season. It does, however, cast significant doubt on the prospect of a comeback to anything resembling his prior, All-World offensive form this season.

News of Durant's indefinite shutdown comes just three days after Oklahoma City power forward Serge Ibaka underwent surgery to "alleviate the soreness and swelling he had been experiencing" in his right knee, a procedure that will sideline the Thunder's best interior defender for four to six weeks. Oklahoma City now seems likely to be without two of its best three players for the balance of the regular season, placing an even greater burden on All-Star guard Russell Westbrook — who has been sensational of late — to keep the Thunder afloat in a hardfought race to secure the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City enters Friday's game with the East-leading Atlanta Hawks at 38-30, one game ahead of the ninth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans and 2 1/2 games ahead of the No. 10 Phoenix Suns. The Thunder have an 18-9 record in Durant's 27 games this season, compared to a 20-21 mark without the six-time All-Star. Oklahoma City was also without Westbrook for 15 of those games, though; the Thunder are 15-11 in non-Durant games in which they've had the explosive point guard's services.

More NBA coverage:

- - - - - - -

Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.