Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant suffered a left-knee sprain in Saturday's 120-105 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, and his MRI on Sunday revealed he had a sprained medial collateral ligament, the team announced.
There is no timetable for his return, but the team said he will be back after a "period of rehabilitation."
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, citing sources, reported that "there’s optimism within Nets that [there] will be a four-to-six-week rehab and return for Kevin Durant."
Durant exited in the first half of Saturday's game after Bruce Brown fell into his knee while trying to defend against Pelicans forward Herbert Jones.
The 33-year-old also missed three games in December after being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols. He returned for the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 30.
Durant has played great this season and is viewed as an early MVP candidate. He ranks first in the NBA with 29.7 points per game, helping lead Brooklyn to a 27-15 record. He's also averaging 7.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists while shooting 52 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from deep.
The small forward has also taken on a massive load this year, playing more than 40 minutes eight times through 35 games. He was tasked with playing more minutes when the Nets were without Kyrie Irving and James Harden at points during the year.
With Durant sidelined, Brooklyn will need Irving and Harden to carry the team. However, that will be difficult for Irving to do. He can only play in away games because New York City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate prevents unvaccinated individuals from entering indoor arenas. So players like Brown, Nic Claxton and Blake Griffin will need to step up.