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Kevin Durant to remain out through NBA All-Star Break with hamstring strain

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets announced Friday that Kevin Durant will require an additional recovery period that will result in him remaining out through the NBA All-Star break. The decision came after a routine follow-up MRI on his left hamstring.

Here’s the official announcement...

Steve Nash said earlier in the week that the Nets expected Durant to come back ahead of the All-Star break but the latest MRI images provided a clearer picture of the injury.

“The second round of imaging when there was less bleeding was more clear to just be cautious,” Nash said on the imaging of Durant’s hamstring. “We will monitor him appropriately and make sure we get him back at the level he was playing at when he went out. So, part of it is mother nature and figuring out the course of rehab and then ramping him back up when he is healthy enough so he does not come back prematurely.”

Nash said his superstar is disappointed he will continue to miss more time as the Nets will continue to monitor him moving forward.

“He’s disappointed clearly,” Nash said on Durant. “He got himself through one of the most devastating injuries in basketball and was playing at an All-Star level and an MVP level. For it to get shut down for a little while is very disappointing for him but it could always be worse. We will continue to monitor him and he will be back this season. We will all be grateful for when that time comes but not until he is ready.

“Fortunately, we all expect Kevin to be 100 percent when he is able to return so that’s the positive.”

The Nets will have eight days off between the end of the season’s first half of March 3 and the start of March 11. Assuming KD is back by the end of the break, he will miss three games in two weeks.

Durant will not be playing in the All-Star Game on Sunday, March 7 either, meaning two Nets rather than three, will be on the court in Atlanta. Kyrie Irving will start and James Harden will be a reserve.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported —and the commissioner’s office confirmed— that Indiana Pacers big Domantas Sabonis is expected to replace Durant in the All-Star game.

Following Thursday's win against the Orlando Magic, Kyrie Irving noted how he and the Nets want Durant to be patient in his recovery process while saying when he does return, the world will be put on notice.

“We just want him to stay patient, stay peaceful, and when he comes back, the world will be on notice,” Irving said.

DeAndre Jordan relayed the same message following Friday’s practice. Jordan wants Durant’s health to be the No. 1 concern and he and the Nets don’t want him returning unless he is 100 percent.

“It obviously sucks not having Kevin on the floor with us but with that being said, we want him to be 100 percent sure he is able to be out there and be healthy,” Jordan said. “His health is our No. 1 concern but with him being out, it’s other opportunities for guys to step up, play, get minutes, and get experience out there so when he does come back, we are even stronger and guys are prepared to play in tight game situations and out there getting a lot of reps that they wouldn’t normally get if Kevin was around.

“I think everyone is taking advantage of this and we know that we have to be that much better with him being out. We are going to hold down the fort until he is ready to come back and play.”

Prior to the injury update, Durant had missed six games due to his left hamstring strain and had missed nine of the team’s last 10 games because of the hamstring and health and safety protocols.