9:02am: Durant has suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise, the Warriors announced today (via Twitter). According to the team’s announcement, the veteran forward will be sidelined indefinitely and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. While there’s no timetable for Durant’s return, the club says he could play again before the end of the regular season.
7:56am: The Warriors are hopeful that the knee injury Kevin Durant suffered on Tuesday night will not be season-ending, according to Mike Wise of The Undefeated (Twitter link). However, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports, Golden State is bracing for the possibility that Durant may be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, or even longer.
Durant, who was initially diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee, underwent an MRI on Tuesday night to assess the extend of his injury, per Wojnarowski. Doctors are evaluating the results of that test, and the Warriors are expected to make a formal announcement on Durant’s status later on Wednesday.
As Wojnarowski details, there are some team officials and members of Durant’s camp who fear that the injury will prevent the star forward from returning to the Warriors’ lineup before the playoffs begin in April. Some sources close to Durant are worried that the injury could keep him out of action for longer than that, sources tell Wojnarowski.
With their top scorer likely to miss extended time, the Warriors have reached an agreement to sign Matt Barnes. The former King will help provide depth at both forward positions in Durant’s absence, but Golden State will have to rely on its other All-Stars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to help shoulder more of the scoring load with Durant on the shelf.
The Warriors’ interior players will face added pressure during Durant’s absence as well, since the 28-year-old had been arguably been the team’s best rim protector this season, averaging a team-high 1.6 blocks per contest.