During the 2016-17 season, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant (who at the time was in the midst of his first season with the Golden State Warriors) got injured during a February matchup against the Washington Wizards. Zaza Pachulia, who was the Warriors’ center at the time, collided into Durant’s leg. As a result, KD suffered a hyperextended knee which later was discovered to be an MCL sprain that held him out of action for 6 weeks. Despite missing so much time that season, Durant and the Warriors were able to go on and win the title as he secured the first of his two Finals Most Valuable Player awards.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Nets Update Kevin Durant Injury, Timetable for Return
Despite being one of the Nets league-leading 10 players to enter the league’s health and safety protocols, Durant has been the most consistent player for Brooklyn all season. But during the first half of the team’s matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, Nets reserve Bruce Brown collided into Durant’s knee during the 2nd quarter. The two-time Finals MVP did not return. After Durant had an MRI early on Sunday, the Nets updated the status of his injury.
“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,” the team said per their Twitter account on Sunday.
Wojnarowski: Nets Expect Durant Back in 4-6 Weeks
Following the Nets announcement of Durant’s MCL sprain, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the team is optimistic that the All-Star forward could return in 4-6 weeks. This, unfortunately, means that he will miss his third consecutive NBA All-Star game.
“After the Brooklyn Nets diagnosed All-NBA forward Kevin Durant with a sprained MCL of his left knee, the franchise has an expectation of a four-to-six week rehabilitation and return, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski writes per ESPN.
This also means that Durant will be sidelined for the majority of the games that Nets star Kyrie Irving is currently eligible to appear in. 11 of Brooklyn’s next 14 games are on the road.
“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,” Wojnarowski conitinued. “Nevertheless, the organization will certainly err on the side of caution when it comes to Durant’s return.”
Joe Harris Drawing Interest From Cavaliers
For the second consecutive season, the Nets have been snake bitten by injuries. Durant is just the latest name on Brooklyn’s mile-long injury report but undoubtedly the most significant. Another key name is Joe Harris who has been out since November 14. He suffered an ankle injury that required in-season surgery. Despite being injured Harris is drawing interest from one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference ahead of the February 10 trade deadline.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have shown interest in the Nets sniper during Friday’s episode of the “Wine and Gold Talk Podcast”.
“If the Nets make Joe Harris available—and I’m not saying that they’re going to—but if they make him available, the Cavs would be very interested there,” Fedor said.
The Nets came into this season the odds on favorite to win this year’s NBA title. But with the injuries continuing to pile up and Kyrie still being a part-time player, their title chances are looking significantly slimmer. It will be interesting to see what moves (if any) the front office makes at the trade deadline.