The hope all along for the Golden State Warriors was that Kevin Durant would return from injury at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals. One positive note is that the final round of the postseason won’t begin until May 30, so Durant still has plenty of time to push for a return. But it’s not all good news, as the latest on the Warriors star provides some cause for concern.
On Friday, Durant spoke with the media about his injury, and The Athletic’s Anthony Slater offered an interesting bit of information on the situation. According to Slater, Durant has not progressed to on-court work yet and is walking with a limp at this point.
Both of these things are obviously concerning, considering it’s been over two weeks since the injury occurred back in the second round against the Houston Rockets. Durant, who suffered a calf strain, missed the final game of that series (along with much of the second half of the prior matchup), along with the entire Western Conference Finals.
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Kevin Durant Calls Injury Worse Than Previous Calf Injuries
During the same interview with the media on Friday, Slater and The Athletic showed a video of Durant talking about the injury. He cited that he was taking it “a second at a time” while trusting the team doctors in the process. Beyond that, he was asked if this injury felt similar to his previous calf injuries, to which he offered an honest response.
Durant said that this injury “was different,” and when asked how that was, he explained that it “was worse” than others.
The conversation involving Durant’s injury was apparently a wide-open one on Friday, as the Warriors star appeared more than willing to answer questions on it. He was asked about the immediate belief by many that the injury was to his Achilles, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, and Durant said that the concern went through his mind at first.
He proceeded to point out that he was relieved shortly after when realizing that he could walk and put pressure on it, so it wasn’t as bad as initially thought.
Kevin Durant’s Timeline for Return From Injury
With the NBA Finals set to get underway on Thursday, May 30, that would mark just over three weeks since Durant suffered his calf strain. The big question is what level of a calf strain he’s dealing with exactly because that could potentially lead to concern over his ability to return for the upcoming series.
As Very Well Health points out, a grade I calf strain heals somewhere between the seven-to-10 day range. Grade II will take about four-to-six weeks while Grade III is much longer and heals within roughly three months. Obviously, Durant stating that this calf injury is worse than others is concerning, and it’s surely bound to be around the Grade II timeline in a best-case scenario.
If Durant is out four-to-six weeks, it would point to a return somewhere between June 5 and June 19. Game 3 of the NBA Finals falls on June 5, while the series will be over by the time the six-week mark rolls around, as Game 7 is slated for June 16, per Sports Media Watch.