BROOKLYN — The news after Nets superstar Kevin Durant was reevaluated on Monday appeared to be positive.
In a statement, the Nets said that Durant was “progressing well and as expected” and Durant himself indicated that he was getting better each day as he went through the rehab prosses when he spoke with reporters.
The Nets Superstar has been out with an MCL sprain since Jan. 8, when he suffered the injury during Brooklyn’s win over Miami. The team said that he will be reassessed in another two weeks, but that Durant will begin running and on-court activities this week.
“I feel better,” Durant said after the Nets practiced at HSS Training Center on Tuesday. “Definitely getting better each day. Just rehabbing, grinding, trying to get back out there as fast as possible.”
Durant said that he knew he would be missing time after Jimmy Butler fell on his leg during the Miami game. Durant has become all too familiar with this type of injury recently, suffering a similar one last season that cost him a portion of the season and began a free fall for the Nets.
“I been through that three times and pretty much every time I was in no man’s land not guarding my man or not even in help position,” Durant explained. “I attribute all of that to basically not being locked in on that moment and somebody used the space that they felt like they had and just fell into that space. I knew exactly what happened as soon as I did it so I was just thinking about the recovery after that.”
The timeline for Durant’s return still remained a bit murky after Tuesday’s update. And there is still a question of whether or not he would be back before the NBA All-Star break next month.
There were dueling reports on Tuesday from NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic over whether he would be back or not by then.
Neither Durant nor head coach Jacque Vaughn would indicate on what side of that line he would return on.
“I want to play in tomorrow if I can. So, that’s what my sense of urgency is,” Durant said. “Obviously I don’t want to rush anything. I want to make sure I’m 100 percent. But yeah, I want to play. I want to be a part of all these events. I missed going back to Golden State my previous home. So, it’s been three years since I did that. You see all this stuff pass you by so I want to participate in everything. I know I got to take my time and make sure I do my rehab and get back on the floor.”
And Durant took a cautious approach as well when discussing where he would stand after the two weeks when he’s reevaluated again.
“I rested the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, I’m on that same path,” Durant said. “You never know. I just want to take it a day at a time and keep putting in the work and hopefully, I will feel better tomorrow and I’ll see you in two weeks and I’ll give you a better update then.”
Durant had been having an MVP-caliber season when he went down and had been the leading vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game. He had been averaging 29.7 points per game this season and shooting nearly 60% from the field as the Nets had steamrolled their way back into the picture in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have gone 2-4 since losing Durant, but have managed to keep the comparisons to last season at bay with their play as of late.
Brooklyn has managed to show plenty of resolve, even without their franchise cornerstone.
“We’ve just got a good group,” Vaughn said. “That was the mental part I’ve talked about with the group. It was pretty impressive because I’ve seen that before like you’ve talked about, being around the game at the end of a road trip and you’re down double digits, you can easily fold your hand and move onto the next casino. But we decided to keep putting money down…and wanted to continue to play and we ended up getting rewarded for it.”