KEY POINTS

  • Kevin Durant will miss a couple of weeks following a knee injury
  • James Harden and Kyrie Irving are expected to make up for Durant’s absence
  • Durant’s health upon return is in question as the Nets gear up for the playofss

The Brooklyn Nets have been relying heavily on Kevin Durant, but it appears for the next four to six weeks, someone else needs to step up.

The two-time NBA champion was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and has been listed as out indefinitely according to a team announcement on Sunday, January 16.

Durant reportedly suffered the injury in the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, January 15, following a collision with teammate Bruce Brown in the second quarter.

Brown fell backward after getting bumped by Herbert Jones, who was going in for a drive in the paint.

The 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player did not return and finished with 12 points in 12 minutes, NBA.com reported.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that there is optimism that Durant may return after four to six weeks of rehab.

With the 11-time All-Star sitting out, head coach Steve Nash is expected to turn to other top stars to step up.

Kyrie Irving is back but on a part-time basis, while James Harden may have to step up – particularly in the scoring department.

The 32-year-old guard filled in for an injured Durant against the Pelicans, finishing with 27 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds to lead Brooklyn to a 120-105 win over New Orleans.

Harden is expected to continue and step up in the coming games but needs support from Irving and other players in the mix.

However, the bigger question is the state of Durant once and if he does return from his latest injury.

The second overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft is averaging 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists this season, and it will be interesting if he can continue to maintain those numbers upon his return.

As of this writing, the Nets are at second behind the Chicago Bulls with a 27-15 win-loss card.

However, the more important part of the 2021-22 season is the playoffs with Brooklyn hoping to win it all.

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets Photo: Getty Images | Al Bello