Kevin Durant Could Miss Rest Of Regular Season With Ankle Injury
The Phoenix Suns are concerned that Kevin Durant’s ankle injury, which he suffered in Phoenix Wednesday during warmups, could force him to miss the remainder of the regular season. Durant wore a walking boot as he exited the Footprint Center after the Suns’ 132-101 victory against the Thunder.
Here’s video of Kevin Durant slipping on the floor pregame.
He stayed down for a few seconds but then got up and finished his on-court work. pic.twitter.com/DwTrNc6LIr
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 9, 2023
Durant suffered the injury during a routine warmup session before the game, rolling his ankle while attempting a layup. Though he managed to stand up on his own power and even went on to finish his pre-game work, he was eventually taken back to the locker room for treatment. He was later ruled out of the game, which would have been his home debut for Phoenix.
According to the Arizona Republic, there are now concerns within the organization that Durant’s ankle injury is a Grade 2 sprain, which could take four to six weeks to heal. If this diagnosis is confirmed, his recovery timeline would line up almost exactly with the end of the NBA regular season on Apr. 9. Durant could also miss the start of the playoffs if the sprain persists, as the first round begins on Apr. 15.
The timing of Durant’s setback could not be worse for the Suns, who acquired the superstar from the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade on Feb. 9. Phoenix gave up promising contributors Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson to get Durant, sacrificing depth in order to bolster a starting five that already included Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
With a 37-29 record this season, the Suns are currently fourth in the Western Conference and have a very comfortable path to the postseason. Nevertheless, the team’s championship hopes could suffer if Durant has to take an extended absence. His return in the playoffs may not provide enough time for the team to properly prepare for the better opponents in its conference.
In three games with the Suns, Durant led his new team to three victories, including a 130-126 win over the Dallas Mavericks in which he scored 37 points. His return on Mar. 1 came after a month-long absence to recover from a knee injury he suffered while playing for Brooklyn.
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