The Brooklyn Nets moved to 27-15 on Saturday night with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, but the focus after the game was on the health of their star forward, as Kevin Durant left the game with a knee sprain after just 12 minutes of play.
A Sunday morning MRI confirmed a sprained MCL for Durant, but no more significant damage to his knee. The Nets announced the injury update in a release, but they did not offer an official timetable for Durant’s return to play, saying he’s expected to “return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation.”
Following an MRI this morning, Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee. Durant is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation. Updates regarding his return will be provided as appropriate.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 16, 2022
Durant is in the midst of one of his best seasons, averaging 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game on 52/37.2/89.4 shooting splits, logging 36.5 minutes per game, his most since leaving the Thunder.
It’s the same injury that has sidelined Anthony Davis since Dec. 18, who had a timetable of at least four weeks when he suffered it, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the hope is that Durant will be back in 4-6 weeks for Brooklyn.
There’s optimism within Nets that will be a four-to-six week rehab and return for Kevin Durant, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/xKYtu0l4VL
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 16, 2022
That would put Durant’s return after the All-Star break in late February, which is certainly less than ideal for a Nets team currently second in the East, but only two games ahead of the Cavs in sixth. Brooklyn has 17 games on the schedule before the All-Star break, with 12 coming on the road, which may help lessen the sting of Durant’s absence as Kyrie Irving will be available for the majority of the Durant-less action.