ESPN analyst blames Warriors for KD’s injury, says it was ‘misdiagnosed’

Jay Williams isn’t a real doctor, but he played one on TV Thursday, telling ESPN’s “Get Up” that the Golden State Warriors “misdiagnosed” Kevin Durant’s calf injury.

While discussing Durant’s Achilles tear, the ESPN basketball analyst not only blamed the Warriors for letting KD play in Game 5 of the NBA finals, but also accused them of cynically doing so to get all they could out of him before he potentially left them in free agency.

“I know for a fact that he was told, with a torn calf, a partial torn calf, that it unloaded the pressure on the Achilles, that there was no chance that the Achilles could be injured at all,” Williams said.

Williams did not say where he received this secondhand medical evaluation, but he does have a close relationship with Durant. NBC Sports reported that the analyst had dinner with KD on Sunday Night.

On “Get Up,” Williams also suggested that the Warriors’ repeated statements that Durant could come back, or would be back, at some time during the playoffs “gave subliminal pressure to a player who we all know wants to compete at the highest level.”

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He argued that if the Warriors really were concerned about KD and wanted him to play for the next four or five years, they wouldn’t have let him on the court for Game 5.

As Ann Killion wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, Warriors General Manager Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr have repeatedly said the decision to play Durant in Game 5 was “collaborative, cumulative and detailed.”

“That collaboration included Kevin and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, our medical staff, his own outside second-opinion doctor,” Kerr said Wednesday. “Kevin checked all the boxes and he was cleared to play by everyone involved.”

While he hasn’t worked on Durant’s case,  Dr. Kenneth Jung, a foot and ankle surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, told the Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau that the decision to let an injured NBA player play is a matter of weighing the benefits against the risks.

“If you’re coming off a calf injury, especially if it was only a month or so ago, you’re at a higher risk of either aggravating it or suffering an Achilles injury,” said Jung, who consults for the Los Angeles Lakers. “That risk is definitely higher if he’s still having pain there or soreness.

“The tissue was essentially still healing. He was essentially rehabbing during the playoff run, so it’s not really a true rehab that he was able to go through.”

Read Mike Moffitt’s latest stories and send him news tips at moffitt@sfgate.com

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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Jay-Williams-blames-Warriors-for-KD-s-injury-13987776.php.

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