When Kevin Durant signed on with the Nets, it was widely believed the star forward’s first season in Brooklyn would be a red-shirt year.

But according to Cris Carter, we might not have to wait terribly long for Durant’s return to the court.

Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals back on June 10. An injury of that magnitude typically requires a year-long recovery, which would wipe away KD’s entire 2019-20 campaign. Carter, however, has been told the two-time Finals MVP only will need half of that expected timetable before he resumes game action.

Carter’s projection would result in Durant returning in late January, which seems awfully ambitious. Even if Durant’s recovery goes way ahead of schedule, the Nets likely will err on the side of caution. Aside from trying to make good on its investment, Brooklyn surely will take note of how the Golden State Warriors handled Durant’s injuries during the 2019 playoffs.

That said, the Nets reportedly aren’t resigned to the notion of Durant missing all of next season, as they’ve left his return timetable open-ended. If KD manages to make his way back come spring, he could take Brooklyn over the top in a wide-open Eastern Conference.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images