Kevin Durant’s home debut with the Phoenix Suns is still a long way off.
The 13-time All-Star slipped on the floor during pre-game warmups and was ruled out Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to left ankle pain.
According to the Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin, Durant was walking in a walking boot as he walked out of Wednesday’s 132-101 victory and reportedly missed several games. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that Durant will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury and how long he may be out.
“He’s in a good mood,” said Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker, according to the Arizona Republic. “That’s all that matters to me. The rehabilitation process starts now.”
The game should have been Durant’s home debut with his new team. He’s played in three games since being traded to the Suns, but they’ve all been on the road.
“Tomorrow we will have more testing done,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “At this point it’s just an ankle sprain and we have nothing official to report.”
Video showed Durant riding toward the basket during warm-up when he rolled his left ankle while jumping. He immediately jumped up and continued his pregame work, but minutes later, the Suns confirmed that Durant would miss the game.
Here’s a video of Kevin Durant slipping on the floor pregame.
He lay down for a few seconds, but then got up and finished his work on the track. pic.twitter.com/DwTrNc6LIr
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 9, 2023
He was not on the bench during the match. Torrey Craig started in place of Durant and the Suns rolled to a 132-101 win for their fourth win in a row. Booker scored 44 points.
Durant averaged 26.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in his three games with Phoenix. He was not in the locker room when it opened for post-match media access.
“I know how much he loves to play and wanted to play,” said guard Chris Paul. “But things happen.”
Phoenix traded for Durant and TJ Warren in February in a blockbuster deal, sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first round picks and other draft fees to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Suns have looked like a juggernaut in the three games Durant has played and won them all. But the slip was a reminder that the 34-year-old has missed a lot of time over the past four seasons with injuries.
Durant was out for the entire 2019–20 season due to an Achilles tendon injury. He missed time this season with a sprained knee ligament. Now an ankle injury.
“He’s out there, working his tail off, getting ready for the game and spraining his ankle,” Williams said. “You can’t get frustrated about that. It’s life, you know what I mean? I felt bad for him because he feels bad.
This report uses information from The Associated Press.