Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant will return to action against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. Durant was required to quarantine for seven days after the NBA's contact tracing initiative revealed that he had been exposed to COVID-19. Nets guard Kyrie Irving will remain out due to personal reasons.
Durant already had COVID-19 early in the outbreak. He has tested negative and still has antibodies according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but the league's rules do not distinguish between players that have had COVID and those that have not. On Thursday, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said his expectation was that Durant will be cleared to play on Sunday assuming the star continues to test negative for COVID-19, as he was.
Durant and Kyrie Irving have both been terrific in their returns from injury issues. As a duo, they're averaging a combined 55.3 points per game. However, overall it hasn't been the best start to the season in Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL, which leaves Brooklyn without a key tertiary scoring option. Through 10 games of action, the Nets sit at an underwhelming 5-5 following some disappointing losses to teams they were expected to beat -- Charlotte, Atlanta, and Washington, for example. This is going to be a long, strange season, though, and the Nets won't be judged on how they do in December and January, but rather what they accomplish in the playoffs.