The Brooklyn Nets have officially removed Kevin Durant from their injury report, clearing the way for him to make a return Thursday night against the Miami Heat.
The organization took to social media to share the highly-anticipated news.
The return. pic.twitter.com/GxLDNfqWia
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 2, 2022
Durant last appeared on January 15th in the Nets home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He was sidelined the next day with a sprained medial collateral in his left knee, an injury ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported would take four-to-six weeks to recover from. Durant ended up exceeding that timetable by a handful of days.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but Durant’s return could have a massive impact on the current Eastern Conference playoff picture. Without his services over the last month-plus, the Nets have plummeted down the standings into the 8th seed. They currently sit one game above .500 and 3.0 games below the Toronto Raptors. Eighteen games may not feel like enough to make up significant ground, but it’s hard to doubt a player of Durant’s caliber. The future hall of famer was a front-runner for the MVP award before he had to sit, averaging an absurd 29.3 points with 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.
The Bulls will want to keep an especially close eye on what happens upon Durant’s return over the next couple of weeks. In the No. 2 spot right now, it’s not out of the question they find themselves hosting the Nets in a Round 1 playoff series. While there is no easy out in this current Eastern Conference, a matchup with the experienced and ticked-off Durant (as well as a possible rejuvenated Ben Simmons and full-time Kyrie Irving) in the first round is a scary way to be welcomed back into the playoffs. We’ll see what happens.