Warriors’ Durant undergoes torn Achilles tendon surgery

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Kevin Durant is assisted off the court after sustaining an injury during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals match between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (AFP / GETTY IMAGES)
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Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors reacts after sustaining an injury during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (AFP / Getty Images North America / Gregory Shamus)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Warriors’ Durant undergoes torn Achilles tendon surgery

  • Durant suffered the injury in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors
  • It was Durant’s first game back after missing a month with a right calf strain

OAKLAND, California: Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant underwent surgery Wednesday for a ruptured right Achilles tendon, confirming the injury and the operation in an Instagram posting.
Durant, averaging 34.2 points a game in the playoffs, suffered the injury in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals, which the Warriors won 106-105 to pull within 3-2 of Toronto in the best-of-seven series.
It was Durant’s first game back after missing a month with a right calf strain, the 2017 and 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player having missed nine playoffs games in the span.
“What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY,” Durant posted.
“My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way.”
The news came just minutes after the Warriors finished a workout on the eve of hosting game six of the NBA Finals, hoping to win to force a seventh game Sunday in Toronto as they seek a third consecutive NBA title and fourth in five seasons.
“Like I said Monday, I’m hurting deeply, but I’m OK,” Durant posted. “Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.
“It’s just the way things go in this game and I’m proud I gave it all I physically could, and I’m proud my brothers got the W.
“It’s going to be a journey but I’m built for this. I’m a hooper.
“I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with Dub Nation while they do it.”


Chile open Copa America title defense with win over Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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Chile open Copa America title defense with win over Japan

  • The victory moved Chile to the top of Group C along with Uruguay
  • Japan, playing as a Copa America guest for the second time

SAO PAULO: Chile’s experienced Copa America team proved too good for Japan’s young squad.

The two-time defending champions opened their Copa America campaign with a 4-0 win over the Asian guests on Monday, with Eduardo Vargas scoring a pair of goals to become Chile’s all-time leading scorer in the South American competition.

Erick Pulgar and Alexis Sanchez also scored for the titleholders, which are trying to become the first nation to win three straight Copa titles since Argentina in the late 1940s. Vargas scored twice in the second half to reach 12 goals with Chile in the tournament, two more than Enrique Hormazabal.

The victory moved Chile to the top of Group C along with Uruguay, which opened with a 4-0 win over Ecuador on Sunday.

“Chile has players who are very experienced, who know each other very well,” Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda said. “The challenge today was to avoid a bad debut. We were humble and entered with our feet on the ground. We were playing against a team that was very competitive in all sectors.”

Japan, playing as a Copa America guest for the second time, brought to Brazil a young squad focused on the Olympic tournament at home next year. The Japanese youngsters struggled against the veteran Chilean squad which was in control from the start at the Morumbi Stadium.

Chile won the last two editions of the Copa America, beating Argentina in penalty shootouts in the final both in 2015 and 2016. Argentina is the only team to have won three consecutive South American titles, from 1945-47.

Boosted by most of the 23,253 fans at the Morumbi, Chile created most of the significant chances.

After Pulgar headed in a corner-kick cross by Charles Aranguiz in the 41st minute, Vargas added to the lead with a shot from outside the area in the 54th after a pass by Mauricio Isla.

Sanchez found the net with a header in the 82nd, and Vargas closed the scoring about a minute later with a long lob shot over goalkeeper Keisuke Osako as he charged from his net.

It was a good opening match for Sanchez after a difficult season with Manchester United.

“I was coming off a difficult month-and-a-half,” said the 30-year-old Sanchez, who injured his ankle late in the season. “I struggled in the first 45 minutes, I felt tired, but I improved in the second half.”

Rueda, debuting with Chile in an official tournament, has been gradually revamping the squad since he took over in 2018. Among the veterans back from the team’s recent triumphs were Vargas, Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, who also had a good opener.

Japan last played in the Copa America in 1999, when it was eliminated in the group stage. Among the youngsters in Brazil was Takefusa Kubo, the 18-year-old who has joined Real Madrid’s “B” team for next season. He played from the start and was a threat for Japan in attack. He got an ovation from the crowd at the Morumbi after getting past a defender with a ball through his legs about 10 minutes into the match. He nearly scored after a nifty move past a defender inside the area in the 65th, but his shot hit the outside of the net. Japan had a few good chances to get on the board toward the end of the game but could not capitalize on them.