Kevin Durant's post-MVP season has hit its lowest ebb today with news that the Oklahoma City Thunder are shutting down the superstar for the season after the latest in a long line of injury set backs.
As reported by ESPN, OKC general manager Sam Presti confirmed that Durant had been "removed from basketball duties" with the NBA's 2014 MVP failing to show significant progress following his second surgery on a foot injury back in February.
The news comes as a major blow to the Thunder who are in a tense battle for the final playoff spot out west and, until yesterday, had been in the mindset of having Durant back to help their cause before the regular season was out.
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"He's not making the progress we'd hoped or expected - Sam Presti on Kevin Durant's injury"
After two straight seasons playing in which he appeared in every single regular season game, Kevin Durant has managed just 27 appearances in the 2014-15 campaign. It now looks like he won't add to that total from here on out.
Durant's issues with his foot materialized before the season even tipped off, the star having had a screw inserted in a procedure back in October intended to repair a Jones fracture.
The Thunder had hoped this would only impact him for the opening month or so of the season but Durant has failed to regain full fitness ever since.
His second surgery came on February 23rd in the aftermath of the All-Star game as soreness continued to hinder Durant's performances.
And now, after several weekly "re-evaluations", it looks like the Thunder have bitten the bullet and given up hope of seeing Durant return.
The update means even more pressure lands on the shoulders of Russell Westbrook. The point guard has excelled so far in the absence of Durant - leading the Thunder's charge for a playoff spot of late with MVP calibre performances.
But, with big man Serge Ibaka also recently ruled out for the rest of the regular season, the fact that there is now little to no chance that KD resurfaces to help out means that the Thunder now have to pray that Westbrook's exploits don't catch up with him at this crucial time.
The Thunder currently sit in eight spot out West with a 38-30 record. That puts them a game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans and a couple away from the Phoenix Suns (36-33).
What do you think Thunder fans? Can you guys still make a run for the playoffs and what does Durant do from here? Let us know in the comments section below...
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