Update, Jan. 16: The Nets released a statement with an update on Durant on Sunday morning. He’s been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and there’s not a timetable for his return. That was following an MRI, so there isn’t anything more serious, which is a good sign.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski then reported there’s optimism Durant will only be out 4-6 weeks. So best-case scenario KD is going to miss one month. We could see it be more on the later side of that timeline. The Nets don’t need to worry too much about seeding in the playoffs and need Durant to be 100 percent. With this injury, it would seem KD is unlikely to play in the 2022 NBA All-Star game, which is Feb. 20. There’s a chance he’d be able to return since it would be just over a month into his recovery. Brooklyn could hold him out as a precaution.
Halftime update: The Nets lead the Pelicans 69-41 at the break and they’ve ruled Durant out for the rest of the game with a knee sprain. It makes sense with a big lead not to push the star forward, especially with a knee issue. There’s no word on the extent of the injury yet, but Durant will not return Saturday.
The Brooklyn Nets have another injury situation on their hands and this time, it’s star small forward Kevin Durant. He went to the locker room Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans after appearing to suffer a knee injury.
KD hurt his left knee -- looked like he bumped knees on the last play. He tried to stay in the game for a moment -- but then walked off the floor and went straight back to the locker room.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2022
Durant had 12 points in 12 minutes prior to exiting the contest. The Nets lead the Pelicans 54-32 to as of this writing so there’s no real reason to rush Durant back into this game if he feels his knee is not at 100 percent.
The Nets star is now a co-favorite to win the MVP with Stephen Curry, per DraftKings Sportsbook. Curry’s recent slide has opened things up for Durant, who has been consistent as ever. A long-term injury would not only wipe those odds, but it would be a significant setback for the Nets as title favorites per the oddsmakers.
If Durant misses time, look for James Harden, Patty Mills and Cam Thomas to pick up the slack. Joe Harris is still out indefinitely, so Thomas and Mills will see more minutes if Durant is sidelined for a while.