Kevin Durant Expected To Miss One Month With MCL Sprain

3:47pm: Durant is expected to miss around a month with the injury, Wojnarowski reports for

10:50am: Nets star Kevin Durant suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee and will be reevaluated in two weeks, the team announced in a press release.

Nets officials are relieved by the diagnosis, which was the result of an MRI this morning, and there’s optimism that Durant will miss less time than he did last season when he was sidelined for six weeks with a similar injury, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Durant left Sunday’s game against the Heat in the third quarter after a collision with Jimmy Butler, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. After having his shot blocked, Butler fell backward into Durant’s knee (video link from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype). Durant tried to stay in the game, but he wasn’t able to move well and appeared to be massaging the knee to lessen the pain, Lewis adds.

“Those plays are scary, because when someone’s not looking with what’s going on anything can happen in those moments,” said Kyrie Irving, who came off the bench to help Durant to his feet. “So I’m grateful that all that time that he’s put in the weight room putting his body in a great position, his body was able to save from something worse. … With [Durant] we know what we’re up against with him not being in lineup. We can say it every single day, but we don’t have time for any excuses. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and stay mature about it.”

The Nets collapsed last year after Durant sprained his MCL in mid-January, Lewis notes. The team was fighting for the best record in the East before the injury, but lost 11 straight games and went 5-16 overall in his absence to wind up in the play-in tournament.

Durant has been playing at an MVP level this season, averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists as the Nets have moved into second place in the East. Brooklyn will play six games over the next two weeks, including Thursday’s showdown with the Celtics, so this will be a crucial stretch of the schedule until Durant can return.

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