Kevin Durant may only practice once before 2019 NBA Finals debut
TORONTO (AP) Tuesday is the next telltale day in Golden State star Kevin Durant’s recovery process from a calf injury.
The Warriors are scheduled to arrive home from Toronto early Monday and will get the rest of the day off. Practice resumes Tuesday, and what happens then will determine if Durant plays in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors on Wednesday night.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has said Durant won’t play until he practices. He revealed Sunday that the team’s medical staff has not yet given clearance to the 2017 and 2018 finals MVP for a return to those workouts.
“It’s really a day-to-day thing,” Kerr said at the Warriors’ shootaround practice before Game 2 of the finals. “If we had a crystal ball, we would have known a long time ago what we were dealing with. But it’s just an injury (where) there’s been a lot of gray area. So, literally, it’s just day-to-day and how the progress is coming. And at this point he’s still not ready.”
Durant was injured in Game 5 of the Warriors’ Western Conference semifinal matchup against the Houston Rockets. He hasn’t played since, and Game 2 of the finals is the seventh consecutive game in which the two-time defending NBA champions would be without Durant.
Durant traveled with the Warriors to Toronto, largely so he could work uninterrupted with the team’s medical staff. He has also been a voice inside the locker room, fellow Warriors star Stephen Curry said.
“Pointing out some X’s and O’s type of stuff,” Curry said. “But moreso when you see him putting time in trying to get healthy, trying to get back out on the floor as soon as possible, that’s motivation for sure. We’re all in this together. We’ve said it for the entire year. He’s exemplifying that with his presence in the locker room here.”
There is only one practice before Game 3, and if Durant can’t play on Wednesday there would be only one practice before Game 4 on Friday. Kerr said Durant may need only one full workout to get ready.
“It’s feasible,” Kerr said.