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Nash: Kevin Durant hamstring improving at ‘rapid rate,’ Iman Shumpert’s ‘getting closer’

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Prior to Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Nash provided medical updates on Kevin Durant and Iman Shumpert, who are both out with hamstring strains.

Durant, who recently made his 11th All-Star game in spite of missing 12 of Brooklyn’s 31 total games, appears to be progressing at a “rapid rate,” according to the head coach. Sunday’s game against the Clippers was his fourth-straight absence due to that right hamstring injury.

“I don’t have an update. I think he’s progressing every day, though, and it’s really positive. I couldn’t tell you when his return is,” said Nash. “But I’d reiterate that we’re all optimistic and positive that he’s improving at a rapid rate and will be back soon.”

As for Iman Shumpert, who is dealing with a left hamstring strain, Nash says there is no timeline for his return. Despite the lack of a timeline, Nash says Shumpert is improving and getting closer.

“Shump is getting closer,” Nash said. “I don’t have an update for you but I certainly think he is improving.”

The Nets will have to make a decision on whether to keep Shumpert early in the week. He has a non-guaranteed deal

Nic Claxton is available for the Nets tonight. The Nets head coach says Claxton, who has not played this season, passed all of his progressions with the performance team and could see a “certain amount of minutes” without a tremendous risk involved. But that’s unlikely.

“Nic passed all his progressions with the performance team. He is in a place where he has played enough and gone through those progressions that we feel comfortable that he can play a certain amount of minutes at least without a tremendous risk,” Nash said. “That is the positive.”

Despite Claxton being available, the Nets will take a cautious approach with the number priority of protecting his health. He can see minutes tonight but it is unlikely.

“The number one thing is to protect his health,” Nash said. “I think it would take a unique circumstance for him to play tonight but it is not out of the question.”

Nash noted how there were discussions about sending Claxton down to the G League bubble to play for the Long Island Nets. The Nets head coach said the team wanted to have him remain with Brooklyn due to his rehabilitation for his right knee tendinopathy.

As for Tyler Johnson, he will miss tonight's game with left adductor tightness. Nash was not asked about Johnson’s injury and if there is any severity to it.