Kevin Durant to debut for Suns on Wednesday vs. Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kevin Durant will make his debut with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced Tuesday.

Durant has been out with an MCL sprain since Jan. 8 but has been working out with his new teammates for the past two weeks. He was able to get several long practices in, including Tuesday, which was an important part of his process.

"I was having fun out there before I got injured, so looking forward to going out there and picking up where I left off," said Durant, who was averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists before being traded by the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 9. "I know it ain't gonna be that smooth. It's gonna take me some time to get used to everything early on, but as far as just having fun and just getting lost in the game, I'm looking forward to doing that again."

Durant will be on a minutes restriction, coach Monty Williams said. When Durant returned from a similar injury last season, he immediately began playing more than 30 minutes and scored 31 and 37 points in his first two games back after missing 20 games. Durant has missed 19 games this time.

The Suns will face a Hornets team on a five-game win streak, but they just lost star point guard LaMelo Ball for the season after he suffered a fracture in his right ankle on Monday night.

"Obviously, there's excitement, there's all the stuff that goes with it, but for me, it's allowing him to blend and figure out things we do," Williams said. "But also learn from him based on his skill set, experience and, um, IQ of the game. You know I think it's a great opportunity for us to grow."

Durant said he hasn't had any pain in the knee in two weeks but wanted to go through an extended ramp-up period to regain conditioning. He was in the team's facility throughout the All-Star break and then last Thursday went through an intense full-contact workout.

The Suns then had another long practice Tuesday at the Spectrum Center as he worked through sets and defensive strategies with new star teammates Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

"Guys [have] been great at integrating me and all the sets and having a long practice so we can figure some stuff out, so it's been fun," Durant said. "I'm looking forward to ... translating that over to the floor and see how we can keep building."