Durant questionable for Sonics' opener; Green sprains left ankle
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Kevin Durant missed his second consecutive preseason game for the SuperSonics Friday night. The second overall pick in June's draft was back in Seattle shooting and walking on a treadmill to test his sprained left ankle.
Then Jeff Green, the fifth overall pick, sprained his left ankle during the third quarter of Friday's game with the Phoenix Suns. He went into the locker room to get treatment, returned to finish the period and general manager Sam Presti said his key rookie was fine. But then Green left back into the locker room for good at the start of the fourth quarter having scored 13 points.
Green downplayed the injury, saying it was "just a tweak."
He feels assured he will be ready for the season opener Wednesday at Denver, and probably practice on Sunday.
"I just didn't want to go out there and re-aggravate it," Green said, not wearing ice or even a wrap under his Hoyas-blue, left street sneaker as he prepared to board the team bus. "This is nothing right now."
Coach P.J. Carlesimo said he talked Durant, his rookie shooting guard who turned his ankle late in a game Tuesday, but the coach had no idea whether Durant will be ready for the opener. Doctors hope to have a better idea after the team resumes practicing on Sunday.
"Kevin feels better," Carlesimo said, though he stressed that he won't push the 19-year-old just so he can start the nationally televised opener. "He definitely needs to practice before he plays," Carlesimo said, referring to at least Monday and Tuesday. "If he doesn't practice, he won't play."
If Durant cannot play, the lineup to open the season might be the same as Friday's, with Green starting at small forward and veteran Damien Wilkins moving to shooting guard. Wally Szczerbiak would be the primary shooter off the bench and late in games.
That's all if Green can start. If he can't, Szczerbiak likely would.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press