The Golden State Warriors announced early Wednesday morning that star forward Kevin Durant will miss at least four weeks due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain.
Durant suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Warriors 112-108 loss to the Washington Wizards Tuesday night. Durant was going for a loose ball when Wizards center Marcin Gortat fouled Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, forcing Pachulia right into Durant’s leg.
After playing two more possessions, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr took Durant out of the game and Durant headed to the locker room.
The team is hopeful that Durant will return for the regular season. Originally thinking the injury would keep Durant out for a longer period of time, the team was “relieved” by the diagnosis, according to Warriors forward Draymond Green.
“I thought it would be way worse,” Green said. “Being away sucks but we will take that over what was initially thought.”
In his first season as a Warrior, Durant has played a pivotal part in the Warriors posting the best record in the NBA with a 50-10 record. Through 58 games, Durant is averaging 25.8 points while shooting 53.8% from the field. The field goal percentage is the best of his career.
Even though the team still has two time league MVP Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on their roster, the team will miss Durant not only for his offense, but also his improved play on the defensive side of the ball. The team is currently in a battle with the San Antonio Spurs for home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs. The Warriors currently have a four game lead over the Spurs as of Wednesday.
To make up for the loss of Durant, the team signed veteran small forward Matt Barnes Wednesday morning. Time will tell if he, Andre Iguodala and rookie Patrick McCraw will make up for the absence of Durant.
Pictures courtesy of Bleacher Report and ESPN