NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Kevin Durant has sprained his right knee and the Brooklyn Nets have confirmed he will miss at least two weeks.
Durant was injured after the Heat’s Jimmy Butler took a knee in the third quarter of the Nets’ 102-101 win over Miami on Sunday. Durant grabbed his knee and stayed in the game for a while before asking for a sub and going to the locker room.
On Monday, he underwent an MRI which revealed an isolated medial collateral ligament sprain. The team indicated that they would reevaluate him in two weeks.
Durant has led Brooklyn to 18 wins and a 27-13 mark in the last 20 games, one game behind Boston, which has the best record in the NBA.
He missed 21 games last season with a torn left medial collateral ligament last January — also when a player fell on him — and the Nets fell apart. They went 5–16 and slipped in the standings. His mishap without a forward contributed to Durant’s frustration with the franchise and he asked to be traded in the summer.
Durant eventually took back his plea and had the best basketball of his career this season. He ranked sixth in the league in points, averaging 29.7 points per game and hitting a career-high 55.9% from the field. Durant passed Dominique Wilkins for the 14th leading scorer in the NBA on Sunday.
The Nets hope to do better in his absence and believe they have a better balance than last season under coach Jack Vaughn.
Teammate Kyrie Irving said after the game, “The strength of our team is picking up on each other and being ready for whatever is being thrown at us.”
The Nets play on Thursday, when they host Boston in a game that will be televised nationally. If Durant returns soon after his re-evaluation, he could be ready for the All-Star Game on February 19 in Salt Lake City. Durant missed the All-Star last year due to injury.