After the Brooklyn Nets diagnosed All-NBA forward Kevin Durant with a sprained MCL of his left knee, the franchise expects a four- to six-week rehabilitation before his return, sources told ESPN.
Durant underwent imaging on Sunday morning after Saturday night’s injury, and a realistic benchmark for Durant could be a return coming out of the All-Star break that ends on Feb. 24, sources said. Nevertheless, the organization will certainly err on the side of caution when it comes to Durant’s return.
There was relief around the Nets that the injury wasn’t more serious, and hopefulness that he will make a full return to health in plenty of time for the playoffs. Durant left Saturday night’s game after teammate Bruce Brown fell into his knee on a play in the second quarter.
Brooklyn plays the next 11 of 14 games on the road, which means they expect to have a Kyrie Irving–James Harden backcourt together for those games. Irving is only playing road games, because of his status as an unvaccinated player in New York City.
The Nets won 16 of 19 games last season when they had Irving and Harden together, but no Durant, according to ESPN stats and information.
Durant has had an MVP-caliber season, averaging a league-leading 29.3 points plus 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists for the Nets. Brooklyn is 27-15, and a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls for first-place in the Eastern Conference.