The Golden State Warriors have their backs against the wall prior to Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. But it appears they’ll have star forward Kevin Durant back from injury for this game. The question becomes, is it too little too late for the Warriors to rally from their 3-1 deficit, even if Durant does suit up?
After suffering a strained calf in the second-round series against the Houston Rockets, Durant has remained sidelined through the Western Conference Finals and the NBA Finals thus far. While the Warriors closed out the Rockets without KD and proceeded to sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the next round, they’re just one loss from falling short of winning another NBA title.
At the time of the injury, there was a major concern that Durant had suffered some type of injury to his Achilles. Fortunately, it was later revealed to be just a calf strain, although it appeared to be far worse than any other that he’s suffered in his career.
There’s no guarantee Durant will be any form of a savior for Golden State even if he does play, but it’s looking likely that he’ll attempt to give it a go.
Follow the Heavy NBA Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Kevin Durant Game 5 Injury Update
NEW UPDATE: According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Durant suffered an Achilles injury.
The severity is not known, but it was revealed that Durant will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine exactly what the injury is.
Durant was originally cleared to play in Game 5, he left during the second quarter after grabbing his right leg and going to the floor. The play occurred when Durant was attempting to drive and shortly after he called to the sidelines for trainers to come over, as SportsCenter showed.
As seen below courtesy of House of Highlight’s Chris Montano, Stephen Curry helped him back to the locker room as Durant appeared unable to put full pressure on his leg.
It was revealed during the third quarter of Monday’s game that Durant will not return. He’s going to have an MRI on his leg Tuesday to find out the severity of the injury.
Kevin Durant Practices, Walks Without Limp
Positive news came on Tuesday when it was revealed Durant was able to get in a practice prior to Game 5 of the NBA Finals. As Jared Greenberg of NBATV revealed, he was spotted walking out of the arena with what appears to be an ice pack on his calf but did not have a visible limp.
The outlook improved drastically when this came to light, but there was nothing set in stone that pointed to Durant playing on Monday night at that point. Even still, there was plenty of optimism, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr provided and positive update while some additional good news came just prior.
Kevin Durant ‘Looked Good,’ Analyst Will Be ‘Shocked’ if KD Doesn’t Play
Shortly after morning shootaround, Kerr spoke to the media and was asked about Durant’s status. While the coach wouldn’t go as far as confirming he’ll suit up, The Athletic’s Sam Amick revealed Kerr said KD “looked good” during the workout, and called him a game-time decision.
This was just the start of the chatter which points to good news on Monday night. Durant does appear likely to return to action, and ESPN’s Field Yates pointed out that analyst Jay Williams spoke on ‘Get Up’ about his status.
Williams apparently had dinner with Durant on Sunday night and stated on the show that he “would be shocked” if the Warriors star doesn’t play.
Kevin Durant Injury Status: KD Expected to Be ‘Full Go’ for Game 5
Shortly after Kerr listed Durant as a game-time decision, Monte Poole of NBC Sports revealed the good news on his outlook. According to the report, not only will Durant play in Game 5, but he’s expected to be a “full go,” which would point to him returning to the starting lineup and seeing a decent workload.
It’s huge news for the Warriors, and it’ll be interesting to see if the return of Durant will be enough to help the team pick up a road win and force a Game 6. The Raptors have looked dominant thus far, making the storyline even more intriguing.