Brooklyn Nets striker Kevin Durant will be sidelined until after the All-Star break due to left achilles tendon strain he sustained earlier this month, the team said on Friday.
After a follow-up MRI exam, the Nets determine that Durant “needs an extra recovery period” that will keep him away during the All-Star hiatus. That includes next month’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.
“While we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to play at the level he has played at this season after his return,” the Nets said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Nets manager Steve Nash said he expected Durant to come back before the All-Star break.
“We’re just trying to monitor and be careful,” Nash said before the Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. “We’ve definitely slowed things down in that regard: don’t put pressure on him, don’t try to push him back in any way, and just make sure we give him the right time to be more than cured to be.” strong and conditioned to get back on the team. “
It was immediately unclear whether Durant, who was named captain of the All-Star Game, would continue to be responsible for selecting the players for one of the teams even though he was not in the game. This is the first time any of the captains have not been able to play in the game since the league changed their format from east versus west to two captains who chose their respective teams.
Durant has missed nine of the last ten games in Brooklyn – three because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols after being dragged midway through Brooklyn’s loss to the Toronto Raptors on February 5 for tracing someone who had a positive test, and then the final six games after a thigh load against the Golden State Warriors in a February 13 win.
The Nets have won eight games in a row – the longest current winning streak in the NBA – and will face the Dallas Mavericks on ABC in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
After the game against Dallas, the Nets have two more games before the break: on March 1 in San Antonio against the Spurs and on March 3 in Houston against James Harden’s old team, the Rockets.
The 32-year-old Durant has averaged 29 points, 5.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.