NEW YORK — Kevin Durant, who remains sidelined for the Brooklyn Nets with a hamstring strain, is scheduled to have more imaging done on the injury next week. Head coach Steve Nash said the hope is that those scans will dictate a clearer return timeline for Durant.
Nash made it clear that even if the scan shows progress, Durant will not return to game action immediately.
“He hasn’t played in a month,” Nash said on Wednesday. “So no matter what the scan says, there will still be an appropriate ramp-up time to make sure we put him in a position to finish the season strong.”
Nash said that Durant is able to do half-court work and shooting drills. He is still not playing any 5-on-5 in practice or “full-court, high-speed running.” Durant stayed in Brooklyn to work with his physiotherapist while the team went to Houston for its last game before the All-Star break.
Thursday will be the 10th consecutive game Durant has missed. Nash said that while he can’t completely rule it out, the team’s medical staff does not believe Durant’s lingering left hamstring strain was impacted by the right Achilles tear he suffered in June 2019 that caused him to miss an entire season.
“We don’t feel like these two are related at all,” Nash said. “He’s doing really well right now, and we all feel really positive about the direction he is going. But we just need to be very cautious because he’s a really important player for us.”
Durant last played for Brooklyn on Feb. 13 against his former team, the Golden State Warriors. Since then, the Nets’ roster has shifted. The Nets added six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin, who will not play against the Celtics on Thursday. He is listed as out for left knee injury maintenance.
“I’m not injured at all,” Griffin said on Wednesday night. “I haven’t played in three weeks, so I think it’s smart to sort of ramp me up.”
Griffin said he plans to talk with the Nets’ training staff at the end of the week and iron out when he will make his debut for Brooklyn. Nash said he sees Griffin fitting in with the Nets as a small-ball center who can space the floor by making 3s.
Griffin, speaking to reporters for the first time since joining the Nets, said that Durant was the most active player in recruiting him to Brooklyn. Griffin said, ultimately, he chose to sign with the Nets because he felt he could make an impact as a big who can also facilitate plays.
“Anytime you have these types of players, you need guys around them to relieve that pressure,” Griffin said of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. “And then for me, it’s about playing meaningful basketball, playing in the playoffs and contending for a championship.”