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The Golden State Warriors believe star forward Kevin Durant tore his right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers admitted Durant suffered an Achilles injury, but did not reveal nor speculate about the extent.
The Warriors won, 106-105, and now trail the series 3-2 heading back to Oakland, Calif., on Thursday for Game 6. A Game 7, if necessary, would be Sunday night at Toronto.
Myers fought back tears as he addressed the media.
“Sports is people,” Myers told reporters. “I know Kevin takes a lot of hits sometimes but he just wants to play basketball, and right now he can’t. Basketball has gotten him through his life. So I don’t know if we can understand what it means to him.”
Durant had not played since Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, sitting out with what the team called a strained right calf. He attempted to return for Game 5 of the Finals and played well before going down in the first half.
He left the arena in a walking boot and on crutches, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
Durant is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, though he has a contract option of $30.5 million. The injury may cause him to reconsider free agency, as a torn Achilles generally takes a year to fully heal.
” I have experienced a lot since owning this team. Some lows and many highs,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said, via Shelburne. “Tonight was incredible pride in the resiliency of our team. And respect for KD coming back with our backs against the wall. But I am also so unbelievably sad about the KD injury.”