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Kevin Durant held out of practice

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After returning to participate in portions of practice five days ago, Kevin Durant was held out of practice Thursday because of soreness in his twice surgically repaired right foot.

"Experiencing a little bit of soreness," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "That's expected. We have some peaks and valleys, and we always have a cautious approach, so today he didn't do anything."

Brooks already ruled out Durant for Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Eight days ago, Durant had his timetable updated to return within "a week or two," according to Brooks. Up to this point, Durant has been said to be progressing well and on the right track. Thursday's news would seem to suggest the reigning MVP has experienced some sort of setback, even if Brooks refrained from calling it that.

"Just he experienced some soreness," Brooks said when asked whether Durant had a setback. "I think when you go through rehab, we all know through the rehab process you're going to have some peaks and valleys, and you just have to adjust accordingly. That's why he was off today, and he's definitely not playing tomorrow. That's all part of the process with his rehab."

Durant underwent surgery Feb. 23 to attempt to alleviate soreness and discomfort in his foot that was being caused by a screw inserted in October during a procedure to repair a Jones fracture. Following the second procedure, Durant was re-evaluated after a week, then re-evaluated again after another week, at which point Brooks updated the player's timetable to a "week or two."

Durant has intensified his on-court workouts in the past couple of weeks, returning Saturday to participate in parts of practice, including some 3-on-3. But the soreness that plagued him prior to the All-Star break and pushed him toward the second surgery apparently has not been solved yet.

"It's just all part of it, it's all part of it right now," Brooks said. "We'll know more each day. I think it's all part of the process of getting back on to the court. It's all it is right now."

Durant still has six days within the window of the updated timetable Brooks gave eight days ago. But asked whether Durant has an updated timetable, Brooks didn't have an answer.

"I don't know that yet," he said. "But we'll definitely take, with all our players, with injuries, we'll always take the best interest of the player and always take a cautious approach."

The Thunder (38-30) currently sit a game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for eighth place in the West and have only 14 games remaining in the regular season. With Durant already ruled out for Friday, that leaves only 13 possible games in which he could play.

On March 4, Durant spoke with reporters and was asked whether he was confident he'd return this season.

"Looking forward to it, returning this season, no doubt. I'm not packing it in at all," he said.

"I know I can't be out just hobbling around, limping around on one foot," he added. "I need to be out there at full strength."

In 27 games this season, Durant is averaging 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.