Nets get ‘Optimistic’ News on Kevin Durant Injury Timetable

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets high fives Yuta Watanabe #18 against the Chicago Bulls

The Brooklyn Nets have been on an incredible run, winning 18 of their last 20 games. Since Jacque Vaughn took over as head coach, they have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA, holding a 25-8 record and climbing into second place in the Eastern Conference. Most importantly, the drama that hovered over the Nets this summer and early into the season has dissipated. However, Nets fans took a collective deep breath as Kevin Durant was injured during their January 8 game against the Miami Heat

The injury occurred on a drive by the Heat’s Jimmy Butler, who came down with his back falling into Durant, causing his knee to twist awkwardly. Durant went in for an MRI the next day to determine the severity of his injury. During the January 9 MRI, Durant was diagnosed with a sprained right MCL and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, per the team.

Nets Get Optimistic Update on Durant Injury Timetable

Last season, Durant went down with a sprained MCL on his left leg that kept him out for six weeks, and it changed the Nets season as Kyrie Irving was still out due to New York City’s vaccine mandate keeping him out of home games. On January 10, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared great news for Nets fans that Brooklyn’s superstar forward isn’t expected to miss more than last season’s injury. 

“While Kevin Durant did miss six weeks with a left MCL sprain a season ago, there’s optimism that this is a less severe injury unlikely to cost him more than a month on the sidelines, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted

The Nets are in a much better place as a team this season in Durant’s absence. They also have the benefit of health with other key players. T.J. Warren has been an excellent forward option off the bench, and some consider him to be the player to step in for the injured superstar. Yuta Watanabe has also played big minutes at forward this year for the Nets and is a potential three-point contest participant because of his 52.7 percent shooting percentage from three-point range. They also brought in Markieff Morris for his veteran leadership, who can step in and help this team while facing injury.

Kyrie Irving on Nets’ Depth

Brooklyn’s incredible depth is one of the factors that helps the team and Kyrie Irving not worry about the absence of their star player. In Durant’s absence, Irving expects the team to move to more of an all-around offense, and they have a team that can support each other until Durant is available again.  

“Now I think it shapes into all-around offense and guys being ready to play and make an impact out there. I think one of the best qualities of our team is our bench and the way we support each other despite who is in the lineup. Now it’s just time to go out and exemplify that until we figure out the timeline of K and when he can be available again,” Irving said postgame. 

The next few weeks will be a good indicator of where this team is at, which players may step up as they continue a playoff push, and how they can grow as a team and benefit from an all-around offense. Each week, Ben Simmons has made strides in his return from injury. This could be a time for him to step up in Durant’s absence and continue building a culture for this Nets squad. 

Read More