Kevin Durant was in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night to take on the Wizards for the first time as a member of the Warriors, and the return to his hometown ended in the worst way possible.
Durant exited the first quarter of the Wizards' 112-108 victory with a knee injury after teammate Zaza Pachulia accidentally collided with him.
Durant was ruled out for the rest of the game with a hyper extended knee and was set to undergo an MRI to reveal the severity of the injury.
On Wednesday morning, the Warriors announced the results of the MRI, and while it's not terrible it certainly isn't good.
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"Following reviews of the MRI by the Warriors' medical staff, it has been determined that Durant suffered a Grade 2 Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain and a tibial bone bruise," the official press release stated. "He will be out of action indefinitely and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. There is no timetable for his return, but it has not been ruled out that he could play again before the end of the regular season."
With the regular season coming to an end mid-April, Durant would be tentatively slated for a return with six games remaining before the playoffs.
Unless the Warriors go on a considerable losing streak, they are more than likely to be the top seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket. While it would be ideal to get Durant some playing time before the playoffs begin, it may not be worth it, especially considering how rare it is for No. 8 seeds to upset No. 1 seeds in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Could life for the Warriors without Durant be different?
Perhaps, but it was last year, and the team won an NBA record 73 regular-season games and were one win away from back-to-back NBA championships.
The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2.
Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:
April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis.
June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.
July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets.
July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.
July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.
July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal.
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The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed.
Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer.
According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow.
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