All Star forward, Kevin Durant sprained his ankle last night in the Brooklyn Nets blow-out victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
He suffered the injury midway into the second quarter when Bruce Brown awkwardly collided into his knee, appearing to hyperextend it. Durant hobbled around on the court momentarily before taking himself out of the game and headed to the locker room.
The Nets won the game 120-105 to advance to a 27-15 record, and are currently the second seed in the East.
I hope Kd didn’t tear his acl bro pic.twitter.com/b1EZcoaTAM— Ballsack Sports ® (@BallsackSports) January 16, 2022
THE BROOKLYN NETS RELEASE A STATEMENT
The Brooklyn Nets have released an update on the development. He is said to have being diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee.
The Twitter handle of the Nets was quoted to have stated the following: “Following an MRI this morning, Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee. Durant is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation. Updates regarding his return will be provided as appropriate.”
The franchise expects a four to six-week rehabilitation before his return.
Following an MRI this morning, Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee. Durant is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation. Updates regarding his return will be provided as appropriate.— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 16, 2022
HOW DOES THE TEAM COPE IN HIS ABSENCE
While Durant avoided a major injury or any aggravation with his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) — his recent misfortune is, without a doubt, a setback for the Nets.
He has had an MVP-caliber season, averaging a league-leading 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists. Brooklyn (27-15) is a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn plays 11 of its next 14 games on the road, and thus it expects to have a Kyrie Irving-James Harden backcourt formation for those games. Irving currently plays only road games because of his status as an unvaccinated player.
The Nets won 16 of 19 games last season when they had Irving and Harden together, but no Durant, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Had the 11-time NBA All-Star not gotten injured, the BIG 3 (Durant, Irving and Harden) would have had the chance to build a measure of consistency for the first in the on-going season.
The Nets have had Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all play in 15 games together.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 6, 2022
The results? Pretty good:
Pts diff: +114
Off effic: 128.4
Def effic: 113.9
Net effic: +14.5
(via Second Spectrum) pic.twitter.com/9H1sZ9DS7Y
IF HISTORY IS ANYTHING TO GO BY
Brooklyn will most likely be as cautious as possible with its MVP candidate considering his injury history and their place near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Recall how the Golden State Warriors tried to expedite his return to the 2019 Championship series run against eventual winners, Toronto Raptors, only to have the injury worsen and unwittingly clog the defense of the title the Bay Area team won the year before.
There is a sense of relief around the Nets Nation that the injury was not more serious and hopes are quite high that he will make a full return to health in plenty of time for the playoffs, and possibly still be in the conversation for a MVP berth.