Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant will not play prior to the All-Star break, according to a team press release. He’ll be replaced on the All-Star roster by Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.
The decision on Durant’s status was made after a follow-up MRI on his strained left hamstring. The MRI led the team’s medical staff to the conclusion that Durant required an “additional recovery period.” The club is confident Durant will return to full strength and the “extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he was playing this season.” He’ll continue to undergo rehab and will be re-assessed after the break.
Earlier this week, coach Steve Nash said that he expected Durant to return before the break. Durant hasn’t played since February 13 but the Nets have won all six games he’s missed due to the injury. He also sat out the previous week due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Brooklyn plays at home against Dallas on Saturday before embarking on a two-game Texas trip with stops in San Antonio and Houston before the March 7 All-Star Game.
Durant is averaging 29.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 5.3 APG after missing last season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Sabonis, meanwhile, is averaging 21.5 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 5.7 APG. He’ll be making his second straight All-Star appearance and will earn a $1.3MM bonus for making the team, even though he was named as a replacement rather than making the initial 12-man squad, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter).