Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant has a MCL sprain in his right knee, the team announced Monday, and will be reevaluated in two weeks. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there is optimism that Durant will miss less time than he did with a six-week absence last season.
While Kevin Durant did miss six weeks with a left MCL sprain a season ago, there’s optimism that this is a less severe injury unlikely to cost him more than a month on the sidelines, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/Dd5jU6bZkd
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2023
Midway through the third quarter, Heat forward Jimmy Butler’s drive was stuffed at the rim by Ben Simmons, and the momentum sent him falling into Durant’s space. Butler landed facing away from Durant and rolled on his prone leg, taking down the Nets’ star.
Durant grabbed at his right knee, stayed in the game briefly, then went into the locker room for evaluation with 36.6 seconds remaining in the third. The Nets quickly determined that he would not return to the game. Brooklyn won that game, 102-101.
Durant had 17 points in 30 minutes. Earlier Sunday, he passed Dominique Wilkins for No. 14 on the NBA’s career scoring list.
“Right knee, he’ll get evaluated tomorrow and then hopefully I’ll have some more info,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Most likely it will include imaging, just to make sure we’re good.”
“Those plays are scary, because when someone’s not looking what’s going on, anything can happen in those moments,” said Nets guard Kyrie Irving.
“So I’m grateful for all that time he’s put in the weight room putting his body in a great position, and his body was able to save him from something worse.”
Durant was awaiting his teammates after the big finish, giving them all fist bumps as they walked into the locker room. Vaughn said he did not ask Durant how he was feeling, though Kyrie Irving said his friend was in good spirits.
Durant took two big hits in the second half. He also grabbed at the knee after being called for an offensive foul on a drive where he collided with Miami’s Kyle Lowry with 7:57 left in the third.
“You never want to see him go down like that,” Vaughn said. “Any player, for that matter. Pretty hard collision, but you’ve got to give our group credit for staying with it.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.