OAKLAND – Kevin Durant’s “mild” calf strain isn’t so mild after all.
The superstar forward was re-evaluated Thursday, eight days after sustaining the injury, and his recovery is slow enough that he will not join the Warriors on Friday when they travel or Portland to face the Trail Blazers in Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals. General manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area's Greg Papa before Game 2 that Durant will stay behind to work with Warriors director of sports medicine Rick Celebrini.
The team issued a statement shortly before tipoff of Game 3 saying “at this point, Durant is not ready to advance on-court work.”
Kevin Durant & DeMarcus Cousins injury update: pic.twitter.com/nEDLHT5vue— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 17, 2019
The injury initially was described as a mild strain of the right calf, leading to speculation that KD might be able to return at some point in the conference finals – maybe inside two weeks. Game 3 is on Saturday, and Game 4 is on Monday. The latest possible date of the Warriors-Blazers series would be Sunday, May 26, when Game 7 would be played in Oakland.
Durant likely will miss the entire conference finals, according to a league source. This is not what the Warriors had hoped.
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The Warriors were hopeful that Durant could return in time to shake off any rust should they advance to the NBA Finals, which begin May 30 at the home of the Eastern Conference champion.
At this point, it’s apparent Durant’s availability for the Finals, should the Warriors advance, remains very much in question.