Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant could miss the rest of the regular season and the start of the postseason after injuring his ankle prior to the team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to the Arizona Republic’s Greg Moore.
“The Arizona Republic has learned that there is concern within the organization that Durant has a grade 2 sprain, which would keep him out for between four and six weeks,” Moore wrote.
“Phoenix’s regular season finale is April 9, meaning it’s possible Durant could miss the remainder of the regular season and potentially the start of the playoffs.”
Durant slipped during the team’s warm-ups on Wednesday night, and while he did get up to continue shooting, he was ultimately ruled out for the game.
Kevin Durant took a fall while warming up for his first home game with the Suns 😳
He got up after. pic.twitter.com/J8SGlVQahj
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) March 9, 2023
The Suns still went on to dominate the Thunder, who were without All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but Durant’s injury casts a cloud over Phoenix’s NBA title hopes this season.
The Suns acquired Durant before the trade deadline in a massive deal with the Brooklyn Nets, but he didn’t start playing for the team until this month since he was dealing with a knee injury prior to the trade.
Durant has appeared in three games for the Suns, averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Phoenix defeated the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks in the three games that he played in before he suffered his ankle injury Wednesday.
Obviously, losing Durant for an extended period of time would be a major blow to the Suns, who are currently the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. The team still should make the playoffs, but it sounds like it may miss out on the ability to build chemistry with Durant in the coming weeks.
Since the star forward has played just three games with his new team, it may be hard for the Suns to get in a rhythm right away once he returns this season. If Durant’s recovery is closer to the six-week time frame, his next time stepping on the court could come in the playoffs.
With Durant out of the lineup, the Suns will lean on Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton to carry the scoring load. Booker, who was fantastic against Oklahoma City on Wednesday, has scored 35 or more points in four straight games.
The Suns are currently 37-29 in the 2022-23 campaign and just two games back of the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 3 seed in the West.