On Sunday, The Brooklyn Nets announced that their star forward Kevin Durant will at minimum miss the team’s next two games against the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns due to a mild hamstring strain. There is still a possibility that Durant could return to the floor for Thursday’s blockbuster matchup with LeBron James and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Steve Nash Says KD’s Injury Is ‘Short-Term’
Prior to the Nets game against the Kings on Monday, Nets head coach Steve Nash addressed the media about the severity of KD’s calf strain that he believes was suffered in Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
“I believe it happened in the game. So, the imaging I’m not going to go there because I’ll probably say something, I shouldn’t say. But I feel like, let me just say it doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury,” Nash said to reporters over Zoom on Monday via SNY.
“So hopefully this is something that we can get through quickly, but you know, you never know. Sometimes the imaging is spot on and sometimes the imaging represents something larger than what is actually taking place. So I don’t want to actually venture too far into predicting how long he could be out, but I think everyone believes this is more of a short-term injury.”
KD Rushing Back From Injury Could Be Catastrophic
Nash has been adamant about how serious he and his staff have been with managing KD’s Achilles recovery. While KD’s injury may be minor those can be the most dangerous types of injuries because they tend to linger and turn into major injuries. KD is no stranger to this as it is how he ended up tearing his Achilles during his final season in Golden State.
Durant strained his calf during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets. Most did not believe the Warriors would even make it out of that series. When they did, the Warriors and their medical staff were faced with a tough decision. Was going for the three-peat more important than preserving Kevin Durant’s future?
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Golden State swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals handily. After four games in the NBA Finals the Warriors found themselves down 3-1 in the series to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. Golden State was facing elimination in Game 5 and the pressure began to mount for Durant to return and save the Warriors season.
Durant got the clearance to return to the lineup for Game 5 from the Warriors’ medical staff. He had only been in rehab for a few weeks and the recovery time for a calf strain is much longer. Durant did not even make it out of the first half of the game, as he re-aggravated the injury in the second quarter which later turned out to be a torn Achilles. A much more severe injury that sidelined him for the next 18 months.
The luxury of having a super team is that you have a multitude of options to choose from if one of your star players gets injured. While the injury is not viewed to be severe, Nash and his medical staff need to treat it like it is. Losing Durant for an extended period in an already shortened season could be catastrophic to the Nets’ championship hopes.