Kevin Durant’s injury will sideline the new Nets All-Star for the entire 2019-20 NBA season. During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Durant confirmed that he does not plan on playing this season as he continues to recover from an Achilles’ injury sustained during the NBA finals. During an August interview with Yahoo Sports, Durant detailed his rehab process.
“I don’t know [about return],” Durant explained to Yahoo Sports. “Just like I didn’t know I was going to get hurt. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m early in the process. So I’m grinding every day. I’m not even trying to think that far. That’s not going to do me any good. So I just try to focus on what I can control right now, second by second. Who knows? We’ll see. But once you get to learn your body a little bit more and you realize what this injury is, you know, it’s going to take a lot of work for me to get back to full strength. I was at a point where mentally and physically, my body and mind had met at the right point and I had reached a level that I never reached before. My mind is still there, now my body just has to catch up. Once that does, I’ll be fine.”
The Nets signed Durant to a max contract this offseason despite the expectation that the All-Star would miss this season. It will likely be the 2020 season before Durant is able to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Durant Dismissed the Idea That the Warriors Pressured Him to Return During the NBA Finals
After Durant sustained the Achilles’ injury, there was some speculation that he was pressured to play in the finals. Durant suffered an earlier injury during the playoffs and his status against the Raptors was uncertain. Durant dismissed the idea that the decision to play in the finals was prompted by anything other than his own desire to play.
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant noted to Yahoo Sports. “I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back. It was only me and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It’s basketball. S— happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s— because I’m going to be back playing.”
Nets Head Coach Sean Marks Noted the Team Expects Durant to Miss the Entire Season
Prior to Durant’s recent comments about missing the season, Nets head coach Sean Marks emphasized that the team did not expect their new star to play this year. Marks explained that they expect “he’ll be out for the year.”
“His rehab is going very well,” Marks said, per Nets Daily. “With Kevin, I think what we’re going to say is the expectations are that he’ll be out for the year. We’re not going to plan on him playing. His rehab will obviously be predetermined over the course of the next few months, how he goes with the performance team, but ultimately Kevin will have a large say in when he comes back and how he’s feeling. The expectation now is for him to be out for the year.”