Durant reportedly could miss rest of regular season with Grade 2 ankle sprain
UPDATE: Multiple reports say Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated in two weeks and there is confidence he can return before the end of the regular season.
Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant is expected to be re-evaluated in two weeks with his left ankle sprain and return based on rehab progress, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Swelling has gone down in the ankle, which Durant injured slipping in pregame warmups Wednesday.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 9, 2023
A slip during warmups, maybe on a wet spot on the floor at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, could upend the Western Conference playoff chase.
Kevin Durant slipped on that spot during warmups Wednesday night, and while he finished his warmups he missed what was to be his home debut as a Sun with what was called “left ankle soreness.”
The Arizona Republic has learned that there is concern within the organization that Durant has a grade 2 sprain, which would keep him out for between four and six weeks.
Phoenix’s regular season finale is April 9, meaning it’s possible Durant could miss the remainder of the regular season and potentially the start of the playoffs.
That would be a serious blow to a Suns team that was seen as a title contender after acquiring Durant at the trade deadline. Durant is averaging 26.7 points and 7.3 assists a game on ridiculously efficient shooting (80.8 true shooting percentage with the Suns), and Phoenix is 3-0 since he entered the lineup.
Durant missed 20 games — including the first six games after he was traded to Phoenix — due to a knee injury he suffered while still with the Nets earlier this season.
Even without Durant, the Suns will make the playoffs (very likely the top six in the West), but they will not have the chance to develop the depth of chemistry and good habits needed to make a deep postseason run (and that’s if he is back for the start of the playoffs). This could put plans for a championship parade in Phoenix on hold for a year.
The Suns went on to easily beat the Thunder 132-101 without Durant behind 44 points from Devin Booker. Good short-term news in what was otherwise a rough night in Phoenix.