The Warriors' worst fears came true Wednesday afternoon.
Kevin Durant announced on Instagram that he had ruptured his right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and underwent successful surgery. The Warriors later revealed the operation was done at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. Martin O'Malley, who also handled Durant's foot surgery four years ago.
Here's what KD wrote in the caption.
What's good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY.
My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way.
Like I said Monday, I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that's what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.
Its just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W.
Golden State Warriors
It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I'm a hooper.
I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it.
Dr. Selene Parekh of The Fantasy Doctors tweeted that Durant likely will have a nine- to 11-month recovery time, meaning he would miss most, if not all, of the 2019-20 season.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr addressed the media just moments before Durant made his announcement, and said the Achilles injury was a "shock" to the team.
"If we knew this was in the realm of possibility, we would have never allowed Kevin to come back," Kerr said.
Durant was injured early in the second quarter of the Warriors' eventual 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday. He caught the ball on the right wing, and his right leg buckled to the ground when he tried to dribble past Raptors big man Serge Ibaka.
Durant was playing in his first game since May 8, when he suffered a calf strain in the Warriors' second-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. Durant missed 32 days -- including nine games -- but fought back to return for Game 5 with the Warriors facing a three-games-to-one deficit despite reportedly "not being close to 100 percent."
Durant looked brilliant in his 12 minutes on the court, pouring in 11 points and helping set the tone for Golden State in a must-win game. But his body clearly wasn't quite ready.
The minute KD's injury happened, the Warriors knew they'd have to fight back and win their third consecutive NBA championship without their star forward's help. But they now know Durant likely won't play at all in the 2019-20 season, either.
Durant's injury also might complicate the question of where he'll play next season. He has a $31.5 million player option on the Warriors contract he signed last year, and although many might believe this news would give Golden State a better chance at keeping him, Durant opting in to the deal reportedly would be "the last resort" for him.