OAKLAND -- In his first public appearance since sustaining a knee injury last week, Kevin Durant entered the interview room on crutches to say he misses basketball and his teammates, and that his spirits are good even if he can’t offer a timetable for his return.
Wit his left leg immobilized to aid healing of sprained knee and tibial bone bruise, Durant said there is progress, even sprinkling a dash of humor.
“I got a boo-boo playing basketball,” Durant said Wednesday night, 50 minutes before tipoff between the Warriors and the Celtics at Oracle Arena.
Durant played barely a minute Feb. 28 against Washington before sustaining the injury. The Warriors lost to the Wizards and, two days later, also lost to the Bulls in Chicago.
He is scheduled to be reevaluated in three weeks. Meanwhile, he said he’s watching basketball, playing video games and catching up in rest between rehab sessions. He is able to ride a stationary bike with enough vigor to break a sweat.
“I’m just setting goals every single day,” he said. “Straightening my leg out, that was a big goal of mine throughout this week. I was able to accomplish that and get some range of motion as I bent my leg. That was a key for me.
“I’m just trying to set these small goals, day by day. And I’ll get back to playing. I’ll worry about that whenever I feel good.”
Durant said he initially feared the worst and imagined a long rehab before tests revealed the injury was not as bad as originally thought.
“I was real anxious to see what it was,” he said. “First it was tough news, but then it came back and by the grace of God it wasn’t as bad as we thought.”
The Warriors are hopeful he can return in time to participate in the first round of the playoffs, which begin April 15.
“In the grand scheme of things,” coach Steve Kerr said, “as I told him, ‘Six weeks goes by pretty quick.’ He’s got a long life ahead of him. It would be great if we can get him back the last week of the regular season or so, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Durant, who returned home last Wednesday while the Warriors continued their road trip, was happy to be reunited with his teammates. He said he’d watch the Warriors-Celtics game from the locker room.
“I didn’t feel like an NBA player this last week,” he said. “But to be with the guys in the locker room today and be around the team, it felt great.”