Saturday, July 13, 2024

Is Kevin Durant out of the Olympics for Team USA?

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Team USA will step up preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games when they take on Team Canada on Wednesday in the first of five exhibition games. However they will be without veteran star Kevin Durant while he recovers from a calf strain that has hampered his plans.

Durant, now 35 years old, has not played any part in the team’s pre-Olympics training camp due to the issue and will now miss the Canada game. However he has insisted that he hopes to be back for the Abu Dhabi leg of the exhibition tour, leaving him in a good place to return in time for the Games.

“I feel better,” Durant told reporters on Tuesday, adding that he picked up the injury while “working out probably about 10 days before training camp.”

Kevin Durant hasn't been able to play an active role in training camp so far.

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Kevin Durant hasn’t been able to play an active role in training camp so far.ETHAN MILLERAFP

“He’s already doing on the side, so not with the team, but strengthening, treatment,” Team USA coach Steve Kerr explained. “So he said he’s feeling pretty good. We’ll just keep taking it day by day. It won’t be long before he’s out on the court with us.”

Kevin Durant’s injury record

Despite his advancing age, Durant was still good to play 75 games for the Phoenix Suns last season and put up good numbers, averaging 27.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He can pick up a record-setting fourth Olympic basketball gold medal with the US team this summer but his injury record will be a concern.

In recent season leg injuries have become particularly common, notably missing the entirety of the 2019/20 season after tearing his right Achilles in the previous year’s NBA Finals.

Durant still has two years to run on a massive $194 million deal signed with the Brooklyn Nets in 2021. He retained those terms after making the switch to the Suns in 2023 but his vast salary demands now limit options for trades in Phoenix. This summer’s Olympics will be a real chance for Durant to cement his legacy as part of a great generation of NBA stars, assuming he makes a swift recovery from the latest injury knock.

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