By Randy Renner
Happy New Year Oklahoma City!
Thunder superstar Kevin Durant is back and he will be in the starting lineup tonight when the Thunder taken on the Phoenix Suns inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"Obviously I'm gonna be a little sore here and there, just because I haven't played in a while but I feel good, I'm ready to go out there and play."
Durant has missed six and a half games since spraining his ankle right at the end of the first half of a December 18th game at Golden State. Durant had scored 30 points, the best of his career in a first half, when he went down.
"I felt like I was starting to hit my stride and feel better but that's a part of the game. That's the first time it really hit me, the injury side of it, but I just had to stay strong and keep working."
Durant had only missed 16 games in his entire career before missing the first 17 contests of this season while he recovered from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. Then the ankle sprain, so it's been a double-whammy for Durant and a double-whammy for the Thunder too since superstar point guard Russell Westbrook also missed 14 games this season with a broken hand.
Both players will be back in the starting lineup tonight, just the ninth time this season the Thunder have been at full strength. They are 7-2 with the main group on the floor.
"We just gotta take it a game at a time," Durant said, "and prepare for the teams in front of us and Phoenix is another team in front of us and if we play as hard as we can we can live with the result."
Durant will be on a slight minutes restriction. Head coach Scott Brooks told reporters he doesn't want KD to play more than 35 minutes or so of tonight's game.