Warriors Injury News: Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins Both Hopeful for NBA Finals

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: Kevin Durant #35 and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors react against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 2, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Warriors defeated the 76ers 120-117. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins underwent evaluations Thursday, the Golden State Warriors announced.

Neither Durant (strained right calf) nor Cousins (torn left quad) has received the green light to return to the court. The team is "hopeful that [Durant] could return" during the NBA Finals, while "it's anticipated that [Cousins] will play at some point" in the series.

Durant has missed Golden State's last five contests after he exited the team's Game 5 victory over the Houston Rockets in the second round.

Video Play Button

Some initially thought the 10-time All-Star might make a quick return, and Warriors fans breathed a sigh of relief that he avoided a more serious Achilles injury. But Steve Kerr acknowledged midway through the Western Conference Finals it was unclear when Durant would be healthy enough to return.

Cousins, meanwhile, was injured in the second game of Golden State's first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Although the Warriors left open the possibility of his return, it was clear he'd miss at least a large chunk of their postseason run.

The Warriors are clearly better with Durant, one of the greatest scorers of his generation, and Cousins provides much-needed frontcourt depth. Having to play 34-year-old Andrew Bogut—even in limited minutes—isn't ideal.

The conference finals showed Golden State can manage without the two stars, though. Every time the defending champions appeared to be in trouble against the Portland Trail Blazers, they displayed the kind of dominant two-way play that made them the NBA's best team before Durant arrived.

An NBA Finals matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors will present a tougher test than the Blazers provided. Still, even assuming Durant and Cousins are absent for most of that series, the Warriors remain the clear title favorites.

Related

    Who You Got: KD or Larry Bird?

    Our expert picks who's higher on the all-time SF list

    Golden State Warriors logo
    Golden State Warriors

    Who You Got: KD or Larry Bird?

    Our expert picks who's higher on the all-time SF list

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Klay Dad: Warriors Star Will Return from Injury 'Late' Next Season

    Golden State Warriors logo
    Golden State Warriors

    Klay Dad: Warriors Star Will Return from Injury 'Late' Next Season

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    NBA Rookie Survey Drops 📝

    🗳 Zion voted ROY favorite 👀 Reddish chosen for 'Best Career' 👑 LeBron picked favorite player

    Golden State Warriors logo
    Golden State Warriors

    NBA Rookie Survey Drops 📝

    🗳 Zion voted ROY favorite 👀 Reddish chosen for 'Best Career' 👑 LeBron picked favorite player

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    Steph Sponsors Howard University's Golf Program

    Curry sponsoring the men's and women's golf programs for next six years

    Golden State Warriors logo
    Golden State Warriors

    Steph Sponsors Howard University's Golf Program

    Curry sponsoring the men's and women's golf programs for next six years

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report