The Golden State Warriors’ road back to the NBA Finals may have just hit their most significant speed bump yet.
The Warriors’ leading scorer and rebounder, Kevin Durant, will be out at least four weeks for the Golden State Warriors, the team announced this morning, following a left knee injury last night against the Washington Wizards. Durant suffered the injury one minute into the game when Warriors center Zaza Pachulia fell into Durant’s leg.
According to the Warriors, Durant underwent an MRI last night at MedStar Washington Hospital in the DC area, and was diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise. Durant will be re-evaluated in four weeks, and while the team says there is no timetable for his return, they also said a return this season has not been ruled out.
Durant leads the team in scoring (25.3 points per game), free throw makes (5.5) and attempts (6.3) per game, rebounding (8.2 rpg) and blocks (1.6 bpg).
Golden State added Durant in the offseason in the biggest move of the summer, signing him to a two-year deal (which has an opt-out this summer) as the high-powered Warriors added the 2013-14 Kia MVP. Entering last night, Durant had appeared in 58 of 59 games for the Warriors, missing last Saturday’s date against the Brooklyn Nets with a left hand contusion.
For the Warriors, Durant’s injury could not have come at a worse time. They are entering a portion of their schedule that head coach Steve Kerr called “the most insane schedule I’ve ever seen in all my years in the NBA.” The 50-10 Warriors currently have the best record in the NBA, and with 22 games remaining hold a four game lead over the San Antonio Spurs (45-13) for the top spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Durant was injured when teammate Zaza Pachulia fell backwards into his left leg while grappling with Wizards center Marcin Gortat less than a minute into the first quarter. He hobbled through two more possessions before leaving for good.
Last season the Warriors finished with an NBA-record 73 wins, but after defeating Durant and the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, lost in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who overcame a 3-1 deficit.