Kevin Durant Diagnosed with MCL Sprain and Bone Bruise, Will Be Out Indefinitely

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 27: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on February 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors announced Wednesday that superstar Kevin Durant has suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise and is out indefinitely, though he will be re-evaluated in a month. 

The team didn't establish a timetable for his return but noted there was a chance he could be back before the end of the regular season.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported Durant is at least expected to return for the postseason:

Marc Stein of ESPN reported Durant is in "good spirits" following the diagnosis, as the bruised tibia was feared to be a fracture prior to the MRI results being revealed.

Durant, 28, was forced to leave Tuesday night's loss against the Washington Wizards after Zaza Pachulia fell into his left knee in the first quarter. He underwent an MRI that evening, and both the team and Durant's inner circle were preparing for the possibility that his season might be over, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Instead, the injury is much less worse than first feared, though Durant isn't out of the woods just yet, as Mike Wise of the Washington Post noted: 

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Durant is the team's leader in points (25.3), rebounds (8.2) and blocks (1.6) per game and is a legitimate MVP candidate. Losing him for any time is a major blow for the Warriors, the presumptive favorites to win the NBA title. 

On the other hand, it looks like the situation could have been worse, per ESPN Stats & Information: 

Regardless, the race for the top seed in the Western Conference just got a whole lot more interesting. The San Antonio Spurs are currently just 4.0 games behind the Warriors in the West, with both teams likely hoping to avoid the Houston Rockets in the conference semifinals.

And if Durant's recovery takes him into the postseason, the Warriors will be vulnerable. Of course, a team with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is still capable of beating anybody in the NBA. But the Warriors, who were cruising through the regular season, now find themselves in a more precarious situation than they were in 24 hours ago.