Kevin Durant unlikely to return for Nets this week

Though he “looks great,” Kevin Durant isn’t expected to return to the court for the Brooklyn Nets this week, coach Steve Nash said on Sunday.

Durant hasn’t played since Feb. 13 while recovering from a hamstring strain.

Nets coach Steve Nash said Sunday that Durant “still needs to be monitored and still needs to get a certain amount of markers under his belt” before he can play again.

“There’s still steps for him to take, although he looks great, [he] is progressing and will definitely be back with us,” Nash said, via ESPN. “It’s just, I don’t think this week is likely.”

Durant has undergone multiple testing and a lengthy rehab after injuring his hamstring last month — something that forced him to miss nine straight games before the All-Star break. He underwent further testing on his leg shortly after the break, too.

Durant has averaged 29 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Nets in 19 games so far this season while shooting better than 52% from the field and 43% from behind the arc.

Though it’s unclear when Durant will return officially, he will miss their next three home games against the Timberwolves, Rockets and Hornets this week and a quick one-game road trip to Chicago on Sunday. At best, assuming Durant just needs another week, he could be back in time for their game against the New York Knicks on April 5.

Given how good of a player Durant is, and the fact that the Nets are just a single game back from first place in the Eastern Conference — they’ve won six of their last eight after the All-Star break — Nash isn’t in any sort of rush to see Durant get back on the court.

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

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 21: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center on March 21, 2021 in New York City. The Nets defeated the Wizards 113-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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