Kevin Durant elected to undergo a third surgery on his right foot on March 31st to end his 14-15 season when they found severe damage.
"It had a crack in it," Durant said.
Durant also confirmed the extensive measures taken in that last surgery to give him the greatest chance to widen the bone and avoid his foot faltering again.
Durant used a controversial bone-graft material that is not FDA approved for use in the foot to promote greater bone growth this time. It mandated a longer recovery time in part because of an additional procedure to protect against overgrowth of bone.
"They stuffed some bone-graft thing in, and they pasted over the top of the area. That healed up in a couple of weeks," Durant said. "But then they stuck something else in there just to smooth it out and make sure it was thick. They did a lot."
It was surprising that Durant suffered a fracture again after he had been healing.
"I got like an extra layer of bone on the side of my foot that they put in there," he said. "That's why it took longer to heal. Keep it firm. I could've gone another route with surgery. That was the longest, and that was the safest."
Robert Klapper, a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon who was not involved in Durant's case, equated the steps taken in Durant's third surgery to "putting a belt on his pants—and suspenders."
Klapper said that after a year of healing, the fifth metatarsal in Durant's right foot should have greater integrity than ever before.
"There is no reason why Kevin Durant should not be like the Lopez twins (Brook and Robin), Pau Gasol, Michael Jordan and many other folks who've had metatarsal fractures and gone back and played and never had a problem again," Klapper said. "The data supports that he should come back stronger and should never have a problem with this again.
"That's the answer that you have to give. But nobody knows for sure."