OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr isn’t certain of the severity of Kevin Durant’s sprained ankle, but the Warriors coach believes the star forward may be paying the price for rushing his return to the lineup.
Durant’s left ankle, sprained last Saturday, did not respond well to the 33 minutes he played Wednesday night at Oklahoma City, according to Kerr.
“We probably shouldn’t have played him Wednesday,” Kerr said late Friday night. “I thought he was fine. We thought he was fine, but then he got a little sore afterward.
"I'm sure the league is happy with us because we played him on their 'marquee' game with (Russell Westbrook) and all that stuff. But he came out sore the next day. So we shouldn't have played him."
That was Kerr’s wink-wink reference to the NBA’s decision entering the season advising teams not to rest healthy players for nationally televised games, such as Warriors-Thunder on Wednesday.
After sustaining the sprain at Philadelphia, Durant did not play Sunday at Brooklyn. He returned to practice Tuesday, said he felt better and reiterated that to the training staff during the Wednesday morning shootaround at OKC.
In scoring 21 points against the Thunder, Durant showed no perceptible limp. There were, however, moments when he appeared unfocused. It became apparent Friday morning that the ankle was too tender for him to take the court against the Bulls.
As much as the Warriors would like to have Durant back on Saturday against Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans, Kerr expressed the team will proceed with caution.
“Now we’ve got to be careful,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. But we’ve got to make sure he’s right.”