Warriors’ Durant undergoes torn Achilles tendon surgery

1 / 2
Kevin Durant is assisted off the court after sustaining an injury during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals match between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (AFP / GETTY IMAGES)
2 / 2
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors reacts after sustaining an injury during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (AFP / Getty Images North America / Gregory Shamus)
Updated 13 June 2019
0

Warriors’ Durant undergoes torn Achilles tendon surgery

  • Durant suffered the injury in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors
  • It was Durant’s first game back after missing a month with a right calf strain

OAKLAND, California: Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant underwent surgery Wednesday for a ruptured right Achilles tendon, confirming the injury and the operation in an Instagram posting.
Durant, averaging 34.2 points a game in the playoffs, suffered the injury in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals, which the Warriors won 106-105 to pull within 3-2 of Toronto in the best-of-seven series.
It was Durant’s first game back after missing a month with a right calf strain, the 2017 and 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player having missed nine playoffs games in the span.
“What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY,” Durant posted.
“My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way.”
The news came just minutes after the Warriors finished a workout on the eve of hosting game six of the NBA Finals, hoping to win to force a seventh game Sunday in Toronto as they seek a third consecutive NBA title and fourth in five seasons.
“Like I said Monday, I’m hurting deeply, but I’m OK,” Durant posted. “Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.
“It’s just the way things go in this game and I’m proud I gave it all I physically could, and I’m proud my brothers got the W.
“It’s going to be a journey but I’m built for this. I’m a hooper.
“I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with Dub Nation while they do it.”


Fernandinho is last line of defense as City face Watford test

Updated 20 September 2019

Fernandinho is last line of defense as City face Watford test

  • Pep Guardiola’s side are 5 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool

MANCHESTER: Fernandinho stepped seamlessly into Manchester City’s backline in midweek to ease Pep Guardiola’s defensive woes but the Premier League champions know their stretched resources will be tested by a physical Watford side on Saturday.

The clubs last met in the FA Cup final in May, with City romping to a 6-0 victory to complete the first-ever domestic treble in English football history.

But just four months later Guardiola, whose side are already five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool, is facing a serious headache at the back, with Aymeric Laporte and John Stones out for significant spells.

Frenchman Laporte, described as the best left-sided defender in Europe by Guardiola, is out until at least February after injuring knee ligaments in the recent win over Brighton.

That left Stones, whose start to the season was hampered by injury, as the only specialist center-half left to partner Nicolas Otamendi, a player who has not been an automatic first choice for some time.

England defender Stones, however, suffered a muscle injury in training and reports suggest he could be out for four to five weeks.

City appear to be paying the price for a curious strategy in the transfer market.

Over the past two years, they have shown strong interest in Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire, only to balk at paying what turned out to be world record transfer fees for defenders.

Van Dijk went to Liverpool for £75 million ($93m) while Maguire ended up at Manchester United for £80m.

Given the vast wealth of the City’s Abu Dhabi ownership, and the fact they have broken their own club transfer record in each of the past two summers, such caution when it comes to signing center-halves seems curious.

Guardiola also famously spent big on three fullbacks — Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy — in a matter of days in 2017 which makes his, and City’s, refusal to compete with Liverpool and United for center-halves all the more baffling.

The upshot of their approach was that they failed to replace veteran club skipper Vincent Kompany, who returned to Belgium.

City’s refusal to go toe to toe with their rivals means they face Watford, and new manager Quique Sanchez Flores, with only Otamendi as a fit, specialist central defender.

Watford are bottom of the league but come into the match buoyant after recovering from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Arsenal.

At least Guardiola has a ready-made solution, with defensive midfielder Fernandinho playing at center-back for the midweek visit to Shakhtar Donetsk, where City won 3-0.

The City manager has long spoken of moving Fernandinho back into that position as his career draws to a close although his hand has been forced by the injuries.

“That’s why he is so important for us,” said Guardiola after the victory in his side’s Champions League opener.

“We don’t have many choices. I think he is the only one I have. Other players can play in that position but Fernandinho is a clever player and so intelligent — an incredible guy.

“He did well the first game he played. Of course he has a lot of experience and personality, and what he says the people follow him in the locker room so it’s important.”

Right-back Walker is another player who could move into the center of defense in an emergency but, with Fernandinho in the veteran stage of his career now at 34, Guardiola is one injury away from a full-blown crisis.