Kevin Durant’s knee injury is not as dire as initially feared after an MRI exam revealed an MCL sprain and a bone bruise, the Warriors announced Wednesday morning.
Durant will be re-evaluated in four weeks, but Golden State has not ruled out the possibility of Durant playing before the regular season ends.
The Warriors seemed to be preparing for the worst when they desperately signed Matt Barnes after the their 112-108 loss to the Wizards on Tuesday night.
Barnes posted a picture on Instagram of himself in uniform from his previous stint with the Warriors from 2006-08 and wrote: “Coming back to where it all started!”
Durant was hurt only 93 seconds into Tuesday’s 112-108 loss to Washington. On a Wizards possession under their basket less than a minute into the game, Washington center Marcin Gortat tossed Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia aside. Pachulia stumbled and fell into Durant’s left leg.
Durant immediately clutched at his left knee, then hobbled around a bit. He stayed in for a few more possessions before limping off toward the locker room when Golden State called timeout.
The 2014 NBA MVP for the Oklahoma City Thunder and a four-time NBA scoring champion entered Tuesday averaging Warriors team highs of 25.8 points and 8.4 rebounds, along with 4.9 assists. Golden State fell to 50-10, still the league’s best record.
It was Durant’s first game in the nation’s capital since signing with the Warriors; the Wizards — and their fans — had hoped to try to sign him as a free agent last offseason. Instead, Durant chose Golden State appearing to give a team coming off 73 wins a hammerlock on their second title in three years.
In Durant’s absence, the Warriors will now have to depend on Barnes to back up their Big 3 of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Barnes was cut by the Kings last week after the team traded DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.
Along with representing a massive step down in talent from Durant, Barnes is facing assault charges in New York City for his role in a nightclub brawl.
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