Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant will minimally miss a month with an MCL sprain and bone bruise in his left knee, but is expected to return for the start of the playoffs in mid-April.
After an MRI late Tuesday night, the Warriors announced on Wednesday that Durant suffered a Grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain and a tibial bone bruise in Washington.
Durant’s return is still targeted for the four-to-six-week range and hope remains that he can return for the start of the playoffs in mid-April.
Durant suffered what the Warriors initially termed a hyperextended left knee in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s loss to the Washington Wizards. Golden State center Zaza Pachulia lost his balance and fell into Durant’s left knee.
Durant – a four-time NBA scoring champion and the 2013-14 league MVP – has been the Warriors’ top scorer this season, averaging 25.3 points per game. He signed a free-agent deal with Golden State in July, leaving Oklahoma City after spending nine years with the organization that drafted him. Golden State has the NBA’s best record at 50-10.
Durant signed a two-year deal that included a player option that he is expected to exercise to become a free agent again in July.
The Warriors are signing free-agent forward Matt Barnes to play some of Durant’s minutes during his recovery.
Durant has consistently indicated that he expects to re-sign on a longer-term deal with Golden State this summer.