Nets have no timeline on Kevin Durant’s knee injury

CLEVELAND — The Nets offered no timeline on Kevin Durant’s return to action, but an expert who spoke with The Post said Durant could miss four to six weeks, while Steve Nash confirmed it’s going to be weeks before the star even gets evaluated.

“We don’t have a timeline, and it’s also a few weeks before we re-evaluate it,” Nash said. “We’re just going to wait and see how it heals and how he recovers over the next few weeks, and then there’ll be more of an evaluation and hopefully some sort of timeline. He’s obviously disappointed. The guy loves to play.”

Durant suffered the injury when teammate Bruce Brown fell into his knee in the second quarter of Saturday’s home win over the Pelicans.

“I watched the play. That was a classic MCL injury to the knee. If it’s isolated — which I guess it is — those do well, whether it’s a Grade 1 or Grade 2. There won’t be surgery needed,” Dr. Dennis Cardone, of NYU Langone, told The Post.

Kevin Durant injured his knee during Saturday’s win over the Pelicans.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

Cardone is NYU Langone Sports Health’s chief of the Division of Primary Care Sports Medicine, and he surmised that a four to six week timeline would be appropriate for a Grade 1 or mild Grade 2, the latter indicating mild tearing.

“You’ll feel better running straight ahead. It’s when you start doing pivoting, cutting, explosive movements that you’ll have an issue,” Cardone said. “He may do well to have a brace on when he comes back. But it’s very different from an ACL of course.”

Dr. Rajpal Brar said the average recovery time among NBA players was 41 days.

“It was a big hit. You feel it energetically, the presence in the locker room,” Kyrie Irving said. “Everyone is going to feel it, but for me personally, it’s like we just got back into the swing of things and here we are again.”

When Durant suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in February 2017, he missed a little over five weeks.

“This might be a similar injury to that. … He’ll probably have fluid or what we call edema around the ligament,” Cardone said, adding that Durant’s heavy workload (36.5 minutes) played no role in the freak injury.

“The mechanism of his injury is unfortunate. And it could’ve happened Day 2 of the season. He had what we call a valgus moment, the knee just got forced inward. That could’ve been Day 1 of the season or the middle of the season, and he probably would’ve had the exact same injury.”

Joe Harris (ankle) has joined the Nets on this road trip. He won’t play on the trip but has been given the green light to resume shooting.

Nets guard Joe Harris arrives at the arena before a game against the Cavaliers on Jan. 17, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
Joe Harris
NBAE via Getty Images

“Yeah, he’s on the trip,” Nash said. “He’s just started to do some very light shooting. So he won’t play on this trip.”

The Nets started James Harden, Irving, Patty Mills, Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe. LaMarcus Aldridge (right foot soreness) played for the first time since Jan. 7, but Nic Claxton (left hamstring tightness) and DeAndre’ Bembry (back spasms) were both out. Nash was hopeful Claxton would return at some point on this four-game trip.

Harden took a knee to the left leg in the third quarter, but continued and insisted he’ll play Wednesday in Washington.

“Yeah, I just got kneed. I’m good,” Harden said. “I should be all right. I should be straight.”

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