The Nets played their 19th game in a row without Kevin Durant on Saturday night, but they may not have to wait much longer for their star to return.
Durant went through a Monday morning high-intensity workout in Milwaukee and if he comes out of that fit, just one more may be needed before he’s released to return from the MCL. sprained left side – although coach Steve Nash said Durant is unlikely to return for a Monday and Tuesday against the Raptors.
“Every day is closer,” Nash said before Nets ‘126-123 win over Bucks. “We’ll see. I hope next week for sure he’ll be back. But it could be quick, it could be a whole week with setbacks.”
Nash describes high-intensity workouts as playing half-court or full-court games with the Nets’ “always on” team. It remains to be seen when Durant will get a chance to go through his intense training session Tuesday – possibly Monday morning in Brooklyn – but the Nets have home games on Monday and Tuesday against the Raptors first. when hosting the Heat on Thursday.
Before his knee injury, Durant was having an MVP-sized season, averaging 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists across 36 games. His return will go a long way toward reviving the Nets, as they try to avoid the play-in tournament, with 21 games remaining in the regular season following Saturday’s clash with the Bucks.
“I think with Kevin, he’s been a great healer throughout his career,” Nash said. “The number one thing is to get him back healthy, secure in his health and fitness so he can be active and free when he comes back. Obviously he adds a ton to our team on both ends of the deck. He leads the league in scoring, is one of the all-time greats.
“But we also know he helps us defensively and gives us more dimension and length. He’s been a huge miss for us and whenever he comes back he will definitely impact our team on both ends of the ring. ”
While Ben Simmons continue his condition to return to play, he is dealing with some back pain, Nash confirmed. The coach said the outbreak was not an injury, but rather a “normal soreness” for someone who is getting active again after not playing a game since June.
“It’s not a permanent thing,” Nash said. “It was just part of his return to action. When you’re accelerating, you’ll be more susceptible to a number of things, like you’ll experience pain or muscle tension. He has a bit of a backache. “
It’s unclear if the issue will further delay the launch of Simmons’ Nets.
Simmons went to Milwaukee with the Nets, but has yet to work out intensely. Nash describes Simmons as working individually and combining physicality, strength and conditioning, and skill to bring body and game back to play speed.
“He’s not quite in [Durant’s] position, until Kevin is really close, [Simmons] there’s still some time ahead of him,” Nash said.
Nash said it has not yet been decided whether Joe Harris (ankle) will need another surgery.
“He’s going to keep working on it and trying to see if it continues to improve,” Nash said.
Newly signed point guard Goran Dragic, played for the first time since November 13, made his Nets debut and picked up six points after 14 minutes off the bench.
https://nypost.com/2022/02/27/kevin-durant-could-make-nets-return-by-end-of-week/ Kevin Durant could make the Nets come back over the weekend