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Nets’ Durant to be out through NBA All-Star break

Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant will remain sidelined through the NBA All-Star break with a left hamstring strain, the team said Friday.

Durant has missed six games with the injury, the Nets originally saying on February 14 that he would be sidelined for at least two.

Coach Steve Nash had predicted this week that he would return before the All-Star break begins on March 5, but an MRI exam prompted them to revise his return timeline.

“The latest images provided a clearer picture of the hamstring and while we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has been playing this season once he returns,” the Nets said in a statement.

Durant, who is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists, will be re-assessed following the All-Star break, which runs from March 5-10.

Durant had been slated to captain one of the All-Star teams against a team led by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

Shortly after the Nets’ announcement, NBA commissioner Adam Silver named Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis to take his place in the All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta.

Sabonis set a Pacers franchise record by opening the season with 16 consecutive double-doubles.

He ranks second in the NBA this season overall with 24 double-doubles and had three triple-doubles.

Despite the honor of an All-Star nod, many players have said they would have preferred to have the break without the game this year in view of the short offseason and continuing complications posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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