The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant celebrates his second quarter three-point shot against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center on February 5, 2021 in New York City. (Elsa / Getty Images / AFP / photo file)

NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant will stay on the sidelines during the NBA All-Star break with left hamstring strain, the team said on Friday.

Durant missed six games due to injury, with the Nets initially 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 began on March 5, but an MRI exam prompted them to revise his return schedule.

“The latest footage provided a clearer picture of the hamstrings and while we are confident Durant will return to full strength, that extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level he’s played this season once he returns,” the Nets said in a statement.

Durant, who averages 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists, will be reassessed after the All-Star break, which runs March 5-10.

Durant had been named captain of 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 doubles doubles.

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

Despite the honor of an All-Star nod, many players said they would have preferred to take the break without the game this year due to the short offseason and lingering complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


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