CBS Sports—March 20, 2015
When Kevin Durant was out of the lineup, back in the lineup, out of it and then back in it again, there was a sense that it was only a matter of time before the Thunder were whole and ready to become a real threat in the Western Conference playoffs.
Westbrook went on a triple-double binge during Durant's most recent absence, but the dark clouds started to form when Durant suffered a setback in his recovery from surgery on a Jones fracture in his foot.
It would be a few more weeks before the Thunder would be back to their old tricks.
The decision to shut Durant down came in consultation with a dream team of orthopedic surgeons and foot/ankle specialists that the Thunder recruited like some high-value free-agent targets: Robert Anderson in Charlotte, James Nunley at Duke University and Martin O'Malley at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Durant wasn't hitting his rehab benchmarks after the latest procedure, wasn't able to shake the pain and soreness that has plagued him in this lost season. So the doctors recommended a timeout: Durant needed to take a step back, and they needed to do some more digging into why he hasn't gotten better.
This story originally appeared at cbssports.com.