Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant out through All-Star break with left hamstring strain

Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant will remain out until after the All-Star break due to a left hamstring strain he suffered earlier this month, the team announced Friday.

"Well, it sucks to not have Kevin," Nets coach Steve Nash said. "He's an amazing, amazing basketball player. And, anytime you have the Lamborghini in the garage, it's meant to be on the road. So, we're all disappointed."

Earlier this week, Nash said that Durant would be back for one of the team's games prior to the All-Star Break. But after Durant underwent a follow-up MRI on his injured left hamstring, which he hurt in a game against the Golden State Warriors, Nash said the injury required more patience before he could return.

"I just think the second round of imaging when there was less bleeding, it was more clear to just be cautious," Nash said. "We'll monitor him appropriately and make sure we get him back playing at the level he was playing at when he went out.

"Part of it is Mother Nature, and just figuring out the course of rehab and then ramping him back up when he is healthy enough so that he doesn't come back prematurely."

The Nets said Durant will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break, meaning he will miss the March 7 All-Star Game in Atlanta.

He was replaced on the All-Star team by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was added to the pool of starters.

The NBA has not yet said whether Durant will remain one of the two captains for the All-Star Game alongside LeBron James. This is the first time since the league changed from the East-West format to having two captains pick teams from the 22 remaining All-Stars that one of the captains will not play in the game.

More relevant to the Nets, however, is that Durant -- who has arguably had the best comeback ever from a torn Achilles tendon, and is playing at an MVP level when he has been on the court this season -- will miss at least the team's final three games before the All-Star break.

Durant has played in only seven games this season alongside James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

"It obviously sucks not having Kevin on the floor with us, but with that being said, we want him to be able to be 100% sure that he's able to be out there and be healthy," Nets center DeAndre Jordan said. "His health is our No. 1 concern. With him being out, it gives other opportunities to guys to step up and play and get minutes and get experience out there so when he does come back, we're even stronger and guys are prepared to play in tight-game situations and are out there getting a lot of reps that they normally wouldn't get if Kevin was around.

"I think everyone is taking advantage of this. We know that we have to be that much better with him being out. We are going to hold down the fort until he is ready to come back and play."

Durant has missed nine of Brooklyn's past 10 games -- three because of the NBA's health and safety protocols, after being pulled midway through Brooklyn's loss to the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 5, and then the past six games after suffering a hamstring strain against the Warriors on Feb. 13.

The Nets have won eight games in a row -- the longest current winning streak in the NBA -- and face the Dallas Mavericks on ABC in Brooklyn on Saturday night.

After playing Dallas, the Nets have two more games before the break: in San Antonio against the Spurs on March 1, and in Houston against Harden's old team, the Rockets, on March 3.

Brooklyn will then return from the All-Star break with a game at home against the Boston Celtics on March 11 -- the next time Durant, at least potentially, could rejoin his teammates on the court. Nash, though, repeatedly emphasized the team is going to be careful with Durant's return, wanting to make sure he's ready to go for the games that matter down the road.

"He's disappointed, clearly," Nash said. "He got himself through one of the most devastating injuries in basketball and playing at an All-Star level or even MVP level, and for it to kind of get shut down for a little while is very disappointing for him. Having said that, it could always be worse. So we'll continue to monitor him and he's going to be back this season, and we'll all be grateful when that time comes, but not until he's ready."