Kevin Durant’s home debut in Phoenix may need to wait until the playoffs.
The newly acquired Suns star slipped pregame on Wednesday and was ruled out of the team’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic reported after the game that there is concern within the Suns organization that Durant suffered a grade 2 ankle sprain, an injury that could sideline him for four to six weeks.
Moore also reported that Durant left Footprint Center in a walking boot Wednesday night.
Durant was traded to Phoenix in a blockbuster deal on Feb. 9 ahead of the NBA trade deadline. He made his Suns debut on March 1 after recovering from an MCL sprain suffered in what turned out to be his final game with the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 8.
The Suns went 3-0 in Durant’s first three games with road victories over the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks. Wednesday was supposed to be his first time playing in front of home fans in Phoenix, but the pregame slip has put that on hold.
Phoenix is currently the No. 4 seed in a crowded Western Conference playoff race. The team trails the No. 2 seed Sacramento Kings and No. 3 seed Memphis Grizzlies by two games and are three games up on the No. 5 seed Golden State Warriors and No. 6 seed Los Angeles Clippers. The No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves and No. 8 Mavericks are also lurking at 3.5 games back of the Suns.
A drop to No. 7 or No. 8 would put the Suns in a play-in game on Tuesday, April 11. If they stay one of the top six seeds, their first playoff game would be either Saturday, April 15, or Sunday, April 16.