While the possible return of the NBA season this summer remains an important question for fans, Kevin DurantThe return is in the minds of those in Brooklyn.
Durant broke the Achilles tendon while playing for Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals last June. Such injuries usually require a year of recovery and, after Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets at a free agency in July, general manager Sean Marks said repeatedly that the team expected Durant to miss the entire 2019-20 season.
But then the NBA suspended the season during the coronavirus pandemic, leading to questions about whether a summer restart could allow Durant to return.
"This is a $ 110 million question", Marks told Newshub in his native New Zealand, for an article published on Saturday. "In all seriousness, we try not to say too much about your timeline.
"He knows his body better than anyone. Our performance team and our training team did a tremendous job to get you to that point, but I just don't know how getting out of this pandemic will affect anyone, least of all Kevin."
Durant's longtime partner Rich Kleiman opened the door to a comeback in late summer, telling the Washington Post in late February that it was "definitely a possibility" that Durant would play at the Tokyo Olympics. The Games were scheduled to start in July, before being postponed until the summer of 2021.
However, Kleiman also told ESPN's Golic & Wingo, shortly after the NBA suspended the season in mid-March, that Durant's hopes of playing in June or July "were not very realistic."
Durant was among the four Nets players who tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March, although he told The Athletic at the time that he was feeling well and had no symptoms.
Currently, the NBA does not have a timeline or structure for a return to the game.
The Nets are 30-34 and seventh in the Eastern Conference, despite Durant's absence this season and several injuries in the team's other major free agent acquisition Kyrie Irving, which was limited to 20 games before being closed for the season.
"When you invested enough in a player like Kevin, we never pressured you to come back," Marks told Newshub. "When the time is right, he will be 100% when he reaches the court.
"But I can tell you that – before the pandemic, he looked like Kevin Durant and that's a good thing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.