OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant’s ailing right calf will likely force him to miss at least the opening game of the NBA Finals next week, the team announced Thursday.
The Warriors have won five straight playoff games since Durant was sidelined by the injured calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Houston Rockets. The team remains hopeful their star will return sometime during the Finals which begin in a week.
At the time of his injury, Durant was averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists during the playoffs.
“There’s never been a point during this process where we’ve been able to say he’s going to play on such and such date,” Kerr said of Durant’s comeback from the injury. “There still isn’t. We’ll keep moving forward.”
When asked what will be the factor to determine his return, Kerr said: “His response to treatment. His ability to do some things in the weight room. Rick (Celebrini, the team’s medical director) feels good about his progress. Again, he hasn’t spent any time on the court with us. He hasn’t gone through an individual shooting workout. Still some work ahead.”
The Warriors head coach said the collective gut feeling was that Durant would be able to return during the Finals.
“We feel like he’s going to be back at some point during the series,” Kerr said. “That’s our thought. That’s our gut but again there’s nothing clear cut. We leave it up in the air. He’s doing what he’s doing and we’re hoping for the best.”
The word was a bit more encouraging for center DeMarcus Cousins, who has been sidelined with a torn left quadriceps muscle since the playoff opening round series against this Los Angeles Clippers.
“We are taking it a day at a time, see where my body take me,” Cousins told reporters after going through an entire practice session Thursday. “I feel good. A lot better than I was and in a lot better place. I’m able to get up and down the court more. I’m able to play a little competition basketball…I went through the whole practice (on Thursday).”
Kerr said Cousins looked good during Thursday’s practice.
“He doesn’t have any more pain,” he said. “The strength in his quad is good. Now it’s about conditioning.”
The status for both players will be updated next Wednesday.
Andre Iguodala, who missed the Game 4 clincher against the Blazers with a sore left calf, didn’t practice Thursday but is expected to be at full strength to start the finals.