Kevin Durant will miss time after just three games with the Phoenix Suns.
Durant will be reevaluated in three weeks, according to the Suns, after he suffered a left ankle sprain Wednesday. The Suns, who currently sit fourth in the Western Conference, wrap up their regular season schedule in a month on April 9.
Suns’ official press release says Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated in 3 weeks pic.twitter.com/rfyzzvWUfC
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) March 10, 2023
Durant slipped during pregame warmups in what was supposed to be his home debut in Phoenix against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though he continued to warm up after the fall, according to The Athletic, he was later ruled out for the game. The Suns beat the Thunder, 132-101.
Here’s video of Kevin Durant slipping on the floor pregame.
He stayed down for a few seconds but then got up and finished his on-court work. pic.twitter.com/DwTrNc6LIr
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 9, 2023
It could potentially interrupt the Suns' playoff push before it really got started after Durant was traded by the Brooklyn Nets to Phoenix before the NBA trade deadline in February. He didn't suit up for the Suns until March 1. He missed his previous 20 games with a right knee injury.
Durant, 34, played well in his three games in a Suns uniform, though: He averaged 26.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in three Phoenix wins.
Even without Durant, the Suns have looked much better over the past few weeks. Phoenix is 16-6 since Jan. 16 and star guard Devin Booker has averaged almost 30 points per game since he returned from his own injury. He scored 44 against the Thunder and hoped that would quell the concerns about Durant's absence.
After the game, Booker called the injury "just a roll" and thought Durant would be fine.
"He's fine, it's just a roll. We'll get him right and he'll have the debut another day."
Devin Booker with some assurance to Suns fans on Kevin Durant's injury. pic.twitter.com/WAZKoEgkv7
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) March 9, 2023
But with Durant, the Suns went from playoff contender to Finals contender — the Suns were the No. 2 betting favorite to win the NBA Finals soon after Durant was traded to Phoenix. His absence down the stretch could change things, especially if his injury forces him to miss the rest of the regular season and perhaps some postseason games.
Durant's injury history has become a bit concerning in recent years. He hasn't played more than 55 games in a regular season since his Achilles injury and the end of the 2018-19 season and missed at least 20 consecutive games in each of the past three years due to various injuries: 23 games in 2021 with a hamstring injury, 21 games with a sprained left MCL and 20 games this season with the right knee injury.