The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NBA News: Kevin Durant’s Toe Injury

Posted by on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


Suffering a foot injury is bad enough—with the daily pain, difficulty mobilizing, and lengthy recovery. But when one foot injury begets another, as the body shifts to overcompensate and pressure is displaced to a new area, things get even worse. Perhaps that is what happened to OKC Thunder’s Kevin Durant. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC reflects on Durant’s podiatric problems and discusses what this means for fans who are eager to see him return to full strength.

kevin durant toe
Kevin Durant averages 27 points per game, so when he missed a few games with a toe sprain, his absence was felt. Image Source:

How Bad Was Kevin Durant’s Toe Injury?

Prior to this season, Durant proved himself an incredibly robust superstar—only missing 16 career games—but he has missed 27 games this season alone. As you may recall, he was knocked out of play with a Jones fracture in his right foot, which required surgery back in October. He missed two more weeks in December with a sprained right ankle. Now a left toe sprain has set him back another five games.

After five helpful days of rest, Durant returned to play on February 6th against the New Orleans Pelicans. Before the game, Durant told reporters how his toe injury saga played out. “I was coming down the lane, got fouled—I think—and I stepped down on the back of my toe so hard it kinda stretched farther than I wanted it to. Bruised my bone and it was tough.”

He hit his per-game average of 27 points against the Pelicans, but he missed 13 of 17 shots in the second half. Despite his return, and both Westbrook and Davis scoring 40 points a piece, the team still lost 116-113. He was feeling well enough to play in the All-Star Game this past Sunday, which is a positive sign that his recovery is going smoothly.

For a guy who has suffered a foot fracture and ankle sprain recently, one can’t help but wonder how the toe felt by comparison. “It was by far the worst one I’ve had,” he said. “My foot—I didn’t feel anything until I had surgery. My ankle didn’t feel as bad as this toe. It was tough. Such a small part of your body can affect the whole body. It was definitely tough, and I had to be mentally strong to get through it.”

How To Treat A Toe Sprain

A mild toe sprain involves a ligament tear, while a more severe toe sprain creates joint instability as well. Our advice for early treatment intervention is similar to that for most other foot injuries:

  • Rest: Avoid standing and walking as much as possible.
  • Ice: Apply a cold pack for 15-20 minutes, at least four times a day, for two or three days—or until the pain subsides.
  • Compression: Wrap a 2-inch elastic compression bandage around the toe. Place another around the toe and the forefoot.
  • Elevation: Using pillows, keep the injured foot raised above the heart for the first 48 hours to drain fluid and reduce swelling.
  • Protection: Wear stiff-soled shoes or a surgical shoe to protect the toe from further injury and pressure.
  • Medical: Topical anti-inflammatory drugs and topical creams can be applied to reduce pain.

Advanced Toe Sprain Rehabilitation in NYC

Proper treatment of a big toe sprain ensures that misalignment and immobilization do not become future concerns. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in Manhattan and White Plains offers advanced treatments for toe pain and toe injury. Our team of board-certified podiatrists leads patients through a full physical therapy program to build strength and improve range-of-motion during recovery. We also offer advanced pain therapies, including laser treatment, shockwave treatment, and injection therapy. In the worst case scenario, surgical correction is performed at Beth Israel Medical Center or Mount Sinai Hospital. Book your appointment to be seen without delay.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.