After the Brooklyn Nets diagnosed All-NBA forward Kevin Durant with a sprained MCL of his left knee, the franchise expects a four- to six-week rehabilitation before his return, sources told ESPN.
Durant underwent imaging on Sunday morning after Saturday night's injury, and a realistic benchmark for Durant could be a return following the All-Star break (Feb. 18-23), sources said. Nevertheless, the organization will err on the side of caution when it comes to Durant's return.
There was relief around the Nets that the injury wasn't more serious, and hopefulness that he will make a full return to health in plenty of time for the playoffs. Durant left Saturday night's game after teammate Bruce Brown fell into his knee on a play in the second quarter.
Brooklyn plays 11 of its next 14 games on the road, and thus it expects to have a Kyrie Irving-James Harden backcourt together for those games. Irving is playing 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.
Durant has had an MVP-caliber season, averaging a league-leading 29.3 points, along with 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.