Following a routine MRI on his left hamstring this week, the Nets have determined Durant will require additional time to recover, though Brooklyn remains confident he will be back at full strength after the mid-March break.
Durant was named one of two All-Star team captains alongside Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James earlier this month. The forward's roster spot is expected to go to Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Through 19 games this year, Durant is averaging a stellar 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists only a year after missing the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from a torn Achilles. The 32-year-old last played Feb. 13 in a victory over the Golden State Warriors. If he's available for the Nets' first game following the All-Star break, he'll make his return on March 11 against the Boston Celtics—nearly a full month after re-aggravating a hamstring injury.
It certainly makes sense Brooklyn wants to take things slow with Durant's recovery and there's hardly any need to rush him back.
At 22-12, the Nets are second in the Atlantic and 0.5 games back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in both the division and Eastern Conference. With Kyrie Irving and James Harden leading the way, Brooklyn has won eight straight contests—including six consecutive with Durant sidelined.
There's no reason for Durant to push himself to return before he's ready unless the team hits a rough stretch.
Brooklyn is willing to bet that won't be the case.
In the meantime, look for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Nicolas Claxton, Bruce Brown and Jeff Green to continue receiving more playing time while Durant rests.