The Nets are happy with Kevin Durant‘s progress in rehabbing his surgically repaired Achilles, even though there are still no plans for him to play this season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
Durant went through a 25-minute workout this afternoon at Barclays Center and told Lewis that it went well. Coach Kenny Atkinson said seeing him on the court is having a positive effect on his teammates.
“He’s progressing. I know he’s working extremely hard,” Atkinson said. “He’s a quiet personality, but when he needs to say something, he says it. Usually what he says is spot-on. We don’t want to bother him too much because he’s locked into his rehab. He’s a guy who likes to work in the shadows. He doesn’t want all the attention, but he’s working his tail off.
“When he walks in the room, we all become more confident even though he’s not playing — it’s just that way. I enjoy talking to him about the game and his opinions about what’s going on in the league. ‘Hey, what is this team doing? Did you see this? What do you think about this player?’ It’s a real treat for me to have a guy like that around and for our players. They love it. He’s around all the time, so it’s great.”
When the Nets signed Durant in July, they understood it was very unlikely he would be able to suit up for them this season. The ruptured Achilles that he suffered during the NBA Finals comes with a long recovery process, and both parties agreed the best way to protect Brooklyn’s four-year, $164MM investment in Durant was to let him take the entire season to recover.
Atkinson confirmed to Lewis tonight that the plan hasn’t changed.
“No, I think we’re all on the same page. That’s not going to happen,” he said. “Progressing. I don’t have my medical book up here. I can’t give you what stage or any of that. It’s great when you’re there every day. You see incremental progress. That’s all I can give you.”