Brooklyn Nets forward Bruce Brown collided into superstar Kevin Durant‘s leg in the team’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans on January 15. Durant suffered an MCL sprain in the matchup and has not played since that game. Although the Nets star has been out longer than the original 4-6 week diagnosis, Nets head coach Steve Nash says Durant is getting closer to a return.
“Kevin’s getting close. We are hopeful that he can play this week,” Nash told reporters on February 28 per NetsDaily. “He won’t play tonight or tomorrow but we’re hopeful it would be Thursday or Sunday. Kevin is getting closer which is exciting.”
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Kevin Durant Set to Return for Heat Game
The Nets at one point this season were the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. But an 11-game losing streak that occurred in Durant’s absence has the team in the 8th spot and fighting to stay out of the play-in tournament. But the Nets got some good news on Wednesday afternoon. For the first time since January, Durant is not listed on Brooklyn’s injury report, per Shams Charania of “The Athletic” indicating that he will suit up for Thursday’s matchup against Jimmy Butler and the top-seeded Miami Heat.
Steve Nash Updates Ben Simmons, Joe Harris Return Status
In case you have not heard, the Nets traded 10-time All-Star Ben Simmons to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline last month. The centerpiece of that trade for the Nets was 3-time All-Star forward Ben Simmons. Simmons has not played in an NBA game since last spring when the Sixers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Naturally, the superstar forward will need a ramp-up period before he can officially return to the floor for Brooklyn. But Nash said that the new Nets star has already begun doing some work on the court.
“He’s just doing some light shooting and some physical therapy. Just making sure that he gets back one-hundred percent. Just a little flare-up. While he does shooting, he’s got reconditioning stuff that he’s able to do,” Nash said of Simmons’ impending return per NetsDaily.
Brooklyn has also been without their key starter Joe Harris since November 12. The Nets sharpshooter suffered an ankle injury that required him to have surgery at the beginning of the season and was expected to return this year. But the date for his return has been ever-changing. And while there was initial optimism about Harris’ return this season, there is now no guarantee that he will be back as he may need a second ankle surgery.
“We’re waiting. We’re waiting to see how he responds. There are no decisions made either way,” said Nash on Harris’ current condition per NetsDaily. “Just trying to see how much improvement he can get in the coming weeks.
For the Nets, Durant’s return could not have come at a better time. 3 of Brooklyn’s next 5 games are against playoff teams from last year including a clash with the 76ers on March 10th. Brooklyn has struggled in the 12-time All-Star’s absence as they have a record of just 5-16 since he went down in January and have a record of 24-12 this season when he plays.