Steve Kerr: Kevin Durant Should Return from Calf Injury If Warriors Beat Rockets

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, left, walks away from referee Ken Mauer during the first half of Game 5 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets on  Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team expects Kevin Durant to return if it advances to the Western Conference Finals.

"I think it's good news. Calf strain...he's had them before, and he's responded well," Kerr told reporters Thursday. "Obviously, we're disappointed he won't be able to play in this series. But if we're able to win the series and move on, it looks good for his return in the not-too-distant future."

Durant has been ruled out of Game 6 on Friday and a potential Game 7 on Sunday of the Warriors' second-round series against the Houston Rockets after going down in the third quarter of Wednesday night's 104-99 Golden State victory. The non-contact injury had some speculating that Durant had suffered an Achilles injury, but tests showed only a minor calf strain.

The Warriors said Thursday that Durant will be reevaluated in a week.

“During the timeout, we all looked at each other, and there were a couple of smiles in terms of like what that meant for us as a team and the guys that were going to need to step up in those moments," Stephen Curry told reporters after Game 5. “Next-man-up mentality, Draymond (Green) said that at some point in that timeout."

Durant has been the Warriors' best and most consistent player throughout these playoffs, so Curry and Klay Thompson are going to have to shoulder the load against the Rockets. The Warriors are heavy underdogs for Friday night's Game 6 but can take solace in the fact they outscored Houston after Durant's injury Wednesday.

The most important factor here is Durant will be fine over the long term, which is good news for the Warriors and the NBA in general. 

Related

    Knicks' 20-Year Mess Starts at the Top 😬

    Bad basketball is just the Knicks' organizational DNA at this point

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Knicks' 20-Year Mess Starts at the Top 😬

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: PG Plans to Play Thursday

    Paul George (shoulders) expected to make his Clippers debut on Thursday vs. Pelicans (Yahoo)

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: PG Plans to Play Thursday

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Eric Gordon to Miss 6 Weeks

    Mike D'Antoni confirms Rockets guard will have knee surgery

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Eric Gordon to Miss 6 Weeks

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Introducing the NBA's 2020 MVP Race Sleepers 😴

    The NBA MVP race isn't as predictable as you might think

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Introducing the NBA's 2020 MVP Race Sleepers 😴

    Zach Buckley
    via Bleacher Report