As the 2019-20 NBA season restart looms, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined since Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals with a ruptured right Achilles tendon, says he won't be returning to the court.
The two-time Finals MVP will be a year removed from suffering the injury when the league restarts on July 31 in Orlando, but still isn't physically ready.
"It's just best for me to wait," Durant told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "I don't think I'm ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.
"My season is over. I don't plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."
The Nets are among 22 teams that will continue to play out the season, with eight seeding games to determine their playoff seeding.
Currently the seventh seed in the East, the Nets will battle the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards for the final two playoff spots.
Kyrie Irving suggested on the NBPA conference call today that it's possible he could join the Nets in Orlando this summer --- as an inactive player supporting his teammates, sources said. Irving had season-ending shoulder surgery on March 3. https://t.co/MKrfaGQhwy- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2020
Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3 also says has no plans to return this season, however he may travel to Florida to be with the team in the bubble.
It's unclear whether Durant, who has been rehabbing in Los Angeles, will join the team.
"I had to reset and totally focus on just me and what I wanted out of this thing," Durant said. "For the first time, I felt like I was in my own space rehabbing. I didn't feel like I had to be a part of the team and travel with the team and do everything like I was playing. I could really take my time and focus on myself each and every day.
"I didn't feel rushed at all. That was a great space to be in. I was putting pressure on myself in previous injuries, wanting to hurry up and come back. I saw my teammates having fun and wanted to be out there. This time, I felt like I was more patient throughout the process mentally and not rushing myself mentally, not get too excited when my team plays well or I have a good [rehab] day. I'm taking things second by second, and I'm trying to look out for what is best long term."
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