Durant still out for Nets, who will be cautious with Griffin

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant will remain out for the rest of this week and it is unclear when he will return to the Brooklyn Nets lineup, meaning he will miss more than a month with a strained left hamstring.

Blake Griffin also will be sidelined when the Nets open the second half Thursday against Boston, though he stressed he’s not injured. He and the Nets think it’s smart to take their time increasing his workload after signing Monday.

Durant hasn’t played since Feb. 13 at Golden State. The Nets hoped at first the injury wouldn’t be serious, but announced on Feb. 26 that a follow-up MRI showed a clearer picture of the injury and would keep Durant sidelined through the All-Star break.

“I think when we got the second scan we knew this was going to be longer,” coach Steve Nash said Wednesday. “The first scan there was bleeding and the imaging wasn’t as clear. So I think we realized the second scan that this was type of timeline we were looking at and we’ll see, that could change. But we were expecting the potential for this to be a month or whatever it may be.”

Nash added that Durant will have another scan of the injury next week. He said the All-Star forward has been on the court doing individual shooting but unable to do full-court running drills, and the Nets want to see appropriate healing when they review the injury again.

“So who knows?” Nash said. “Who knows what the scan says, who knows where this takes us and how soon he’s back, but I think when we got the second scan we knew that this was probably what we were looking at.”

Durant returned this season after missing all last season while recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Nash said the Nets don’t believe the injury to the opposite hamstring came from overcompensating for the injury suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.

“Through his history, through medical history and assessments, we don’t feel like those two are related at all,” Nash said.

“He’s doing very well right now and we all feel very positive about the direction he’s going, but we just need to be vey cautious because he’s a really important player for us.”

Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12, sitting out the rest of his time with the Detroit Pistons before agreeing to a buyout last Friday. He practiced with the Nets on Wednesday but the team listed him out because of left knee injury management.

“I’m not injured at all,” Griffin said. “I just haven’t played in three weeks so I think it’s smart to sort of ramp me up.”

Nash and Griffin said they hoped the team’s medical staff would have a plan for the six-time All-Star’s debut later in the week.

“We just want to make sure we took a good hard look and come up with a plan that everyone agrees upon and gives him a great chance to have an impact,” Nash said.

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