Following the greatest week in Canadian basketball history, many people wonder what the outcome would have been if Kevin Durant hadn’t missed the first 4 games, and didn’t tear his Achilles in game 5. As soon as the severity of his injury was known, a series of questions arose regarding his health going into the game, and his health moving forward.
The statistics are not in his favor when it comes to performance outcomes – this study found that Achilles ruptures, while rare, are nonetheless devastating. Only one NBA player in the study was able to increase his average minutes per game following surgery, and 7 of the players went on to never play again. Of the 18 players, only 44% were able to play longer than one season following surgery. Given Durant’s elite status in the NBA, we could assume that he will be a part of that cluster, however it’s difficult to predict his efficiency on the floor when he returns. It is shown that a lingering deficit typically remains, and one study concluded that there are significant calf muscle strength deficits even 7 years following surgery.
Amin NH, Performance outcomes after repair of complete Achilles tendon ruptures in NBA players. The American journal of sports medicine. 2013 Aug;41(8):1864-8.
Brorsson A, Grävare Silbernagel K, Calf muscle performance deficits remain 7 years after an Achilles tendon rupture. The American journal of sports medicine. 2018 Feb;46(2):470-7.
picture: global news