Nets’ star Kevin Durant says he’ll provide a clear return date from his injury in a week.
Durant, who is out with an MCL sprain in his right knee, sat down with Eddie Gonzalez for an episode of Boardroom’s ‘The ETC’s’ podcast and said he’d give a “clearer update” on his injury return timeline when he records the next episode of the weekly podcast.
Durant, who has missed his 10th straight game with an MCL sprain, said he hopes to return a few games before the Feb. 19 NBA All-Star Game. Durant was named an All-Star starter alongside his teammate Kyrie Irving. He led the Eastern Conference in fan votes before his injury, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo replaced him as the conference’s All-Star captain.
“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,” Durant said on the podcast. “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.
“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 into the All-Star break, in an ideal situation, slide into the All-Star break back healthy, back on the floor.”
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn also suggested he’d be able to give an injury update in a week ahead of tipoff against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
“I haven’t seen him. I’ve kind of compartmentalized it and stayed away from him in the gym,” Vaughn said. “All I know is I’m gonna get an update on him next week. My conversations with him have been outside of the gym when he’s not on the floor.”
Durant said he knew immediately after getting hurt in the Jan. 8 matchup against the Miami Heat that his injury was not as significant as the MFL sprain he sustained on his left leg last season. That injury occurred on Jan. 15 and kept him out a month and a half, beyond the 2022 All-Star Game.
“I could barely walk out the arena when I did this on my left knee, so I knew my movements were a little better this time,” he said. “It didn’t feel like it was anything worse than it was. The team doctors, trainers, physicians were worried about how my knee turned, that the ACL could have been damaged. So they were worried about that but everything was fine. I wasn’t even worried about that.
“I felt like it was similar to last year, but they were saying that a lot of players tear their ACL and keep playing on it. I got a little scared after that.”
Durant is averaging 29.7 points per game for the Nets this season. Brooklyn entered Monday’s matchup against the Lakers 3-6 in games they’ve played with Durant out due to injury.