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EXCLUSIVE: Renowned surgeon ‘wouldn’t change Durant’s injury timetable based on Nets fan's anecdotal theory’

Earlier this week a Nets fan concocted a thought-provoking theory that has no scientific backing to prove it, just anecdotal evidence to support it. The fan suggests that Kevin Durant could return to the court sooner than most expect since the Achilles injury he suffered impacted his non-dominant leg. In this "theory," the fan surmises that the right-handed Durant will face an easier road to recovery since he relies more on is left foot than his right foot for jumping as well as his explosive first step off the dribble.

Despite the rather lengthly list of right-handed players with injured left Achilles who failed to return to pre-injury form, the fan is far from an expert in the medical field. Dr. Weinfeld, Chief of Foot and Ankle surgery at The Mount Sinai Health System, has the medical background and credentials to effectively test this theory, and let's just say the renowned surgeon isn't as convinced of Durant's expedited injury timetable as the overly optimistic Nets fan is.

"I think it’s an interesting finding," admitted Weinfeld of the Nets fan's theory. "It sounds anecdotal meaning people have gone back and looked at who’s who and what has happened to them, but no one has really studied it in an objective way. That would be great if that‘s the case, but I just don’t know if there’s any science to support what they’re saying. You think about a right-handed player, their first step would be pushing off the opposite side, but the doctors that are taking care of these players want to make sure that the strength of the operated limb is there before they go back and play. They still have to rehab whether it be the left or right side. They still have to strengthen that area enough to support the demands of a professional athlete. That’s really what the doctors are thinking before they clear the player to go back. I don’t think they’re considering right versus left, I think they’re considering the strength of the limb that’s been injured."

Part of the theorgy cites how the right and left hemisphere of the brain control the opposite sides of the body as a basis for why Durant's rehab will go smoother than many critics anticipate. According to Dr. Weinfeld, there are still missing pieces to that puzzle.

"I think it’s something that’s interesting to study," admitted Dr. Weinfeld. "The right brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa. There are dominant parts of the brain, but I don’t know if that would affect somebody’s rehabilitation."

Essentially there doesn't appear a causal link between dominant areas of the brain and increase rehabilitation and recovery. As with everything in the medical field, more research needs to be conducted to prove or disprove this assertion.

"Looking at statistics, there may be some truth to it, but I don’t see the scientific evidence to back it up," noted Mount Sinai's surgeron. "It would probably require some study before you could say that was accurate."

As far as moving up Durant's expected recovery, Dr. Weinfeld isn't putting the cart in front of the horse just yet, and believes more research needs to be done on the topic.

"I would not," noted Dr. Weinfeld of adjusting Durant's injury timetable. "I would say based on when his right leg is strong enough to do what he needs to do as a professional NBA player. I would not change my timetable based on some anecdotal Information."


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