Saturday, July 13, 2024

Kevin Durant battling injury issue with Team USA ahead of Olympics

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Kevin Durant on the court

Mar 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA Basketball has a fresh injury concern with one of their most decorated Olympians.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports Sunday that Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant is battling a minor calf strain as Team USA begins training camp in Las Vegas ahead of the Paris Olympics later this month. Charania notes that Durant’s calf strain is sidelining him for the beginning of training camp but adds that the former NBA MVP’s absence is a “precaution.”

Durant, who turns 36 in September, has been a mainstay on the Olympic basketball circuit over the years. He is tied with Carmelo Anthony for the most Olympic gold medals in men’s basketball with three (winning it all in 2012, 2016, and 2020) and is also the all-time leading men’s scorer for Team USA Basketball at the Olympics with 435 career points.

But a calf injury is a concern for Durant, especially since he notably suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in 2019 (missing an entire season as a result). The good news for Team USA is that they have more than enough firepower to survive a temporary absence from Durant. LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis are among the veteran Avengers who are respawning at the Olympics after lengthy hiatuses from international competition. Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Joel Embiid are among those making their U.S. Olympic debuts as well.

While exhibition play begins on July 10, Team USA does not open actual Olympic play until July 28 against Serbia. That gives Durant some good recovery time (though he may not be the only USA Basketball star who is dealing with injury questions right now).

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