The long road to recovery is about to begin for Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant once again.
Durant is currently on crutches with a cast covering much of his leg where he ruptured his Achilles. The injury ended Durant’s season for the second-straight year.
“It’s hard to believe, but at the end of the day, it’s sports man. There’s a lot more people out there going through a lot worse,” said Durant.
The moment Durant suffered the injury, he had a feeling the news wouldn’t be good. But, Durant being who he is remained hopeful that the news would be better than expected.
Unfortunately for Durant that wouldn’t be the case.
“I asked (athletic therapist Ivan Gutfriend), I’ll never for forget this the rest of my life, I asked him if my Achilles was gone. He just looked away,” said Durant.
“Just a couple of months ago he was on the field as I was laying down in Winnipeg with my elbow. I could tell he didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news.”
After having surgery on his Achilles Friday, Durant will now be spending a lot of time with Gutfriend. It’s not only because Gutfriend will be part of his rehab team, but Gutfriend has actually suffered two ruptured Achilles too.
“He’s the perfect guy to talk to about it and the process,” said Durant.
Right now, the biggest piece of advice Durant has received is to remain patient. The injury will recover in time.
Durant has also talked with the team’s former defensive backs coach Barron Miles, as he’s been through the injury. He also plans on reaching out to Kory Sheets who continues to recover from his injured Achilles.
Durant is also taking some inspiration from someone he is unlikely to be able to talk to.
“Before I got here this morning I watched the Kobe Bryant documentary, when he was going through his Achilles injury. That motivated me tremendously,” said Durant.
“I can’t wait until this cast comes off so I can attack this. To see him go through it and see him overcome it, that’s huge.”
Durant is not only inspired by the likes of Gutfriend and Bryant, but also the amount of support he’s received.
The moment Durant went down, he started getting bombarded on Twitter, text and any other way someone could reach out.
“The support from Rider Nation has just been wonderful. It’s hard to put into words the support I’ve gotten,” he said.
“Not only just Rider Nation, but my old Tar Heel Nation, back to my high school people from my hometown. Friends, family, everyone has just so supportive … That’s what’s going to help me through this.”
The plan for Durant is to eventually be out jogging a little bit on the field later in the season. The pivot also believes he will be back in time for the opening of training camp next season.
“I’ll be back to my old self, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just another step in my career. Something else that I have to overcome,” he said.
Until then, Durant plans on being around the team as much as possible helping any way he can.