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Durant May Miss Extended Time in Playoffs

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Tests revealed a tibial bone bruise along with an MCL sprain. Anticipated recovery time is long enough that the Warriors may have to make a long playoff run without him.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards
Turns out that there was good reason for KD to be holding that knee.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors announced today that Kevin Durant has a tibial bone bruise and MCL sprain that are expected to sideline the former league MVP for an undetermined time. Durant suffered the injury when the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat tossed Warriors center Zaza Pachulia into Durant’s leg in the opening minutes of last night’s game.

Durant was evaluated in Washington, DC last night to get a preliminary assessment of the injury. The Warriors evaluated the knee again in the Bay Area today and confirmed the diagnosis.

Update 10:40am - Apparently there is a discrepancy between the diagnoses in Washington and the Bay Area. Bob Myers suggested that the initial diagnosis in Washington was more dire but that the test results were not as clear as those taken more recently. Myers insisted that the injury to Durant’s tibia is a bone bruise, not something more severe that would require a longer period of recovery (perhaps a small fracture?).

My theory is that Kevin Durant is Wolverine, so the injury miraculously improved overnight from whatever the Washington doctors found to the bone bruise diagnosed today. Speedy recovery ahead!

The NBA Playoffs begin in mid-April, so the Warriors will almost certainly start the playoffs without Durant. If the injury requires up to 12 weeks for recovery, the Warriors would need to make it through the Western Conference Finals without Durant in order for him to play again this season.

Even if Durant heals in time to return to the team during the playoffs, cardiovascular exercise may be difficult during his recovery since his knee is injured. Once the knee heals, he may not be in ideal condition to play his normal minutes in playoff games.

Durant was reportedly distraught upon hearing the initial diagnosis of the severity of the injury while in Washington. His mother, who lives in the D.C. metro area, joined him while he was evaluated. This was obviously not the reunion that Durant had in mind as he played against his hometown Wizards for the first time as a Warrior.