Kevin Durant is on the precipice of returning from his knee injury and making his Phoenix Suns debut. The Suns' newest star is expected to play in one of Phoenix's first games out of the 2023 NBA All-Star break.

Durant will play five-on-five basketball Thursday, and the Suns will see how the superstar's knee reacts to the workout before determining when he can play in a meaningful game, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. It's possible that Durant's return could happen Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he's more likely to play Sunday when the Suns visit the Milwaukee Bucks.

If Durant isn't ready to return Sunday, his Suns' debut could come Wednesday on the road against the Charlotte Hornets.

Durant last played on Jan. 8 when he suffered a sprained MCL. Exactly one month later, the Brooklyn Nets traded Durant to the Suns.

The trade instantly made the Suns the betting favorites in the Western Conference. Phoenix entered the All-Star break as the West's No. 5 seed with a 32-27 record. The Suns are 11-4 in their last 15 games and only trail the No. 3 seed Sacramento Kings by 1.5 games in the standings.

It would be fitting for Durant's return to come against Milwaukee. Sunday's game between the Suns and Bucks is a potential 2023 NBA Finals preview. Milwaukee defeated Phoenix in six games to win the 2021 NBA Finals. The Suns held a 2-0 series lead before Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to four straight wins.

Antetokounmpo and Durant went toe-to-toe in the second round of the 2021 playoffs. The Bucks outlasted Durant and the Nets in overtime in Game 7 of their series. Durant averaged 35.4 points per game in the series and looked like the best player in the league.

A strong argument can be made that Antetokounmpo and Durant are the best NBA players, when healthy. The Suns might have two of the league's top-10 players in Durant and Devin Booker. Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton help give Phoenix as dangerous of a top-four as any team in basketball.

Durant is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. The two-time NBA Finals MVP is shooting a career-high 55.9% from the field.

Kevin Durant Team USA
Kevin Durant #7 of Team United States reacts against Team Australia during the first half of a Men's Basketball quarterfinals game on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 05, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images