MIAMI — The same injury that derailed the Nets last season has surfaced, with Kevin Durant suffering from another MCL sprain.
An MRI scan on Monday revealed Durant had been diagnosed with an isolated MCL sprain of his right knee. The injury occurred one minute from the end of the third quarter of Sunday’s 102-101 victory at Miami. Durant will be reassessed in two weeks, but he knows the injury all too well, and it cost him more than a month in 2017 and again last season.
Losing Durant for another month could spell disaster for Brooklyn, which is 27-13 and holds the league’s second-best record behind the Boston Celtics, who they host at Barclays Center on Thursday.
Durant sprained the MCL on Jan. 15 last season and didn’t return until March 3. The Nets — who were 27-15 at the time — went just 5-16 in his absence, including losing 11 straight games. This lack of a fight in his absence contributed until his request for an off-season trade.
Another MCL sprain in 2017 — complete with a bone bruise — cost Durant more than a month in 2017 with Golden State.
Not all MCL injuries are equal. The Nets did not specify the grade of Durant’s injury – i.e. Grade 1, Grade 2, etc. – but a source familiar with the situation has confirmed that it is not as serious as the one he suffered last season. It was believed to be a grade 2 injury, with grade 1 being a shorter term injury.