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Kevin Durant to sit out against Celtics Friday

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UPDATE #2 6:24 pm: It is official, Durant is going to sit out the Celtics/Thunder Friday night matchup due to a sprained ankle suffered Wednesday night against the Rockets. An MRI showed no structural damage, but it’s too much to play through. The Oklahoman had a quote from the man.

“After the game, I think it got worse,” said Durant, the league’s leading scorer at 28 points per game. “Maybe I should have come out in the first quarter. But I just wanted to help my team win. And I felt if I was on the floor I was helping my team.”

James Harden will start in Durant’s place against Boston. Durant played in all 82 games for the Thunder last season — their luck with injuries was one of the secrets to them getting 50 wins. Jeff Green also will sit out this one for OKC.

UPDATE 2:58 pm: Durant told Lisa Saulters of ESPN that he is “50/50” for tonight. Which sounds a lot like questionable or game time decision. Phrase it however you wish, the result is the same.

12:32 pm: Two nights ago the Boston Celtics took on a Brandon Roy-less Blazers team, catching one of those breaks of the schedule. Friday night they may pick up another.

Kevin Durant is officially questionable but more likely is out for tonight’s Thunder/Celtics matchup due to a sprained ankle, according to a tweet from Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. That means James Harden will start in his place. I like James Harden, quality player. He’s no KD.

Jeff Green also is out for the Thunder, with Serge Ibaka starting in his place at the four (which helps the Thunder defense out).

Without those two, it’s Russell Westbrook against the Celtics defense. In hostile Boston Garden. That’s a rough one. Maybe they get a Ewing Theory bump, but a lot of things need to go right for the Thunder now.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.