The Golden State Warriors have been pushed to the brink of elimination by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. A big reason that they’re facing a 3-1 deficit in the series is the various injuries they’ve dealt with. Most notable among them is the calf injury that has kept Kevin Durant on the sideline since Game 5 of their second-round series against the Houston Rockets.
Whether or not Durant returns for Game 5 of the Finals on Monday night in Toronto remains to be seen, but the All-Star forward practiced with the team on Sunday for the first time since his injury. He was spotted walking out with ice on his right calf, though with no noticeable limp. A short time later, the Warriors officially listed Durant as “questionable” for Game 5.
“He’s going to practice with us today,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told media members prior to the team’s practice. “He’ll get some extra work in with some of our younger players, and we’ll gauge it from there.”
With his return to practice, Kerr said that he is more hopeful about Durant’s potential return that he has been in the past.
“Yeah,” Kerr replied when asked if he was feeling more optimistic about Durant’s status. “Because he hasn’t done what he’s going to do today. He’s doing more today, and we’ll know more after that.”
Kerr has previously stated that Durant could potentially play in the series after just one practice.
“It’s feasible,” Kerr said. “But again, it’s really a day-to-day thing. If we had a crystal ball, we would have known a long time ago what we were dealing with. It’s just an injury; 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.”
If Durant is ultimately cleared to play in Game 5, one would have to wonder about the level of rust that he would be dealing with after being sidelined for over a month. But, Durant at even 60 or 70 percent would provide a big boost to the Warriors, who have looked lost without him at times against the Raptors.