Nets Kevin Durant Reveals Current Injury Status, Target Date for Return

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets stands on the court during their game against the Sacramento Kings

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been out of the lineup for almost a month after sustaining an MCL sprain in a matchup with the Miami Heat on January 8. Two weeks after the initial diagnosis, Durant was re-evaluated. Though the Nets star made progress in his recovery, he still was not ready to return to the floor and will be evaluated again in two weeks.

On the January 30 edition of Durant’s podcast, “The ETCs” the star forward gave an update on his return to the floor, noting he hopes to be back in time to participate in the NBA All-Star Game.

“More so than just the All-Star break, I just want to play games. I want to play as many games as possible, and I feel like the All-Star Game is a part of the season, so I want to be a part of everything throughout the year. I hate being injured, I hate not being out there with the guys, I hate not traveling. All that stuff means a lot to me,” Durant said.

“I would love to, but that would be a nice target point for me — a few games before [All-Star break], get my legs under me, and then slide in.”

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Jacque Vaughn Gives Update on Ben Simmons

Durant is not the only Nets All-Star out of the lineup. So has Nets forward Ben Simmons after suffering a knee injury in their matchup with the Detroit Pistons on January 26. After missing the entire last season with a back injury that required off-season surgery in May, Simmons has already missed 13 of the 50 games the Nets have played.

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn says that while getting Simmons back on the court in a timely fashion remains a point of emphasis, keeping him in the lineup is an even bigger priority.

“We haven’t gotten to specifics. I think everything’s right now been based around getting him back to healthy, to an ability to play as soon as possible,” Vaughn told reporters on January 30.

“I think our conversations [with Simmons] will be real and what can we handle from a management and load perspective, cumulative loads across the board over the course of games. So, all those questions will be on the table in order for us to keep our group healthy and whole as we trend toward the end of the year.”

Gilbert Arenas Makes Bold Ben Simmons Claim

Coming into this season, Simmons was supposed to be the Nets’ third-best player behind Durant and Kyrie Irving. But so far, his numbers have been lackluster, averaging 7.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.

The improvement people most want to see Simmons make is with his shooting or lack thereof. But former All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas believes Simmons is already a “good shooter”.

“I like the way he (Simmons) plays the game. He just doesn’t do what he can’t do. If he can’t do it, he’s just not gonna do it. Now, I would love playing with a guy who really doesn’t want to shoot like that. A guy who’s just gonna give me the ball the whole time! Can’t say anything bad about that,” Arena said to Julian Edelman and Sam Morril during an appearance on “Games With Names”.

“You know what’s funny, I’ve watched him train for weeks, and he’s a good shooter. Like, he’s actually a good shooter. I sat there and just watched him, and I’m looking at his form, looking at his feet, and I’m like ‘what the hell is going on with you, why isn’t it translating to the game?”

It will be interesting to see how Simmons’ game develops as the season progresses.