Kevin Durant Injury: Updates on Thunder Star's Toe and Return

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) walks on the court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is dealing with a toe injury suffered against the Charlotte Hornets on Jan. 2 when he stepped on an opponent's foot. He finished the game and missed the next, but he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Durant Active vs. Grizzlies

Wednesday, Jan. 6

Royce Young of reported Durant has full clearance to play Wednesday without a minutes restriction.

Health Issues Continue to Mount for Durant

During his first seven years in the league, Durant missed a combined total of 16 games. The All-Star forward was a pillar of consistency both in terms of health and performance.

Then he missed 55 games in 2014-15 after persistent foot injuries necessitated three different surgeries over a six-month span. He even missed four games as a result of a toe injury, per Young. With Durant out of action for so long, the Thunder missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The scariest aspect of Durant's foot issues is that they're the same kind that have consistently dogged Brook Lopez over his career. Lopez has struggled to stay healthy over the past five years, and many wondered if Durant would encounter similar hurdles.

Just eight games into the 2015-16 season, Durant suffered an injury against the Washington Wizards. Luckily for the Thunder, it was only a hamstring strain—not considered serious and not related at all to his problems last year.

Still, the situation reminded Thunder fans and personnel how quickly things can turn sour for the franchise.

Russell Westbrook is one of the best players in the league, but he alone can't lead the Thunder to an NBA title, just like OKC can't win a ring without Westbrook out of action.

With Durant back in action to play alongside Westbrook, Oklahoma City hopes to make a playoff push in the West.