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Nets’ Kevin Durant will sit out through All-Star break with hamstring strain

Kevin Durant, Nets, All-Star

Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant is officially out until after the All-Star break, the team announced, via ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

Durant, 32, has been sidelined for the past six games with a hamstring strain.

While the two-time NBA Finals MVP was selected as a captain for the All-Star Game, which will be held in Atlanta next month, Durant’s absence will see another player from the Eastern Conference selected in his place as an All-Star. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Indiana Pacers power forward Domantas Sabonis will be the substitute.

Durant earned the captain role by virtue of tallying the most votes for the All-Star starters. In the East, besides the sidelined KD, that includes Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nets co-star Kyrie Irving, and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.

James Harden, the third star on the Nets traded to Brooklyn earlier in the season, also achieved an All-Star selection in the reserve capacity.

Kevin Durant was selected to his 11th All-Star Game this season. Through 19 appearances, he’s averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Durant signed with the Nets during the summer of 2019 but missed the entire 2019-20 NBA campaign while recovering from an Achilles tear.

Durant joined Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James as the pair of All-Star team captains. It’s unclear whether Durant will still retain his “captain” duties of drafting his team, as the last few years have seen the All-Star starters drafted by the two captains. After the eight players are divvied off, the reserves from both conferences too are selected by the captains.

Besides the All-Star Game, however, the Nets now have to concern themselves with the long-term health of Durant, who, for now, is in no condition to compete for the next few weeks.