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Kevin Durant to return vs. Heat at Barclays Center Thursday

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New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Six weeks after he went down with a sprained MCL, Kevin Durant will return to the court Thursday night vs. the Heat in Brooklyn.

The long-awaited — and rumored — return was announced in a tweet from the official Brooklyn Nets account...

In addition to KD’s return, Andre Drummond is listed as “probable” for the Heat game on the Nets injury status report. Drummond missed the Raptors game Tuesday with knee soreness. Joe Harris remains out as he tries to get back without undergoing a second ankle surgery. He has not played since November 14. His first surgery took place on November 29. Ben Simmons is reconditioning after his seven month layoff and dealing with a back issue whose severity remains somewhat uncertain. He, too, is out. Kyrie Irving, as an unvaccinated player, is not eligible to play in New York.

Meanwhile, Steve Nash remains in COVID health and safety protocols and is unlikely to be on the bench Thursday. Jacque Vaughn, as he did two years ago when Kenny Atkinson was dumped, will likely again assume interim head coaching duties.

Durant averaged 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists before he went down January 15 in Brooklyn’s 120-105 win over the Pelicans on January 15. The Nets have struggled since, going just 5-16 since he went down, their worst stretch in four years.

Durant has not played with Drummond, Simmons, Seth Curry and Goran Dragic, all of whom were acquired since he last played.