Kevin Durant was finally back on the court on Sunday, but it still may not be enough to get him into the lineup for the critical Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors.
The Golden State Warriors star has been fighting his way back from a calf injury that first sidelined him in the second-round series against the Houston Rockets. As CBS Sports reported, Durant was able to practice with the team on Sunday for the first time since suffering the injury and reported that he was seen walking off the court with ice on the injured right calf and no noticeable limp.
Despite the progress, the Warriors have still listed Durant as questionable for Monday’s win-or-go-home Game 5. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said there was still more work needed before a determination could be made.
“He’s going to practice with us today,” Kerr said before Sunday’s practice.
“He’ll get some extra work in with some of our younger players, and we’ll gauge it from there.”
But Kerr struck a more optimistic tone than he has taken in past weeks, noting that Durant is finally doing more on the court.
The Warriors may need Durant, even if he is not at full strength. The Raptors have taken advantage of the injury struck team to take a three-games-to-one lead in the NBA Finals, pushing the Warriors to the brink of elimination for the first time in the finals since losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Kevin Durant’s injury has invited some drama onto the team, including speculation that the team was better off with Durant off the court. It has been widely reported that Durant plans to bolt the Warriors this summer when he can hit free agency, though both Durant and the team have tried to steer clear of any talk about a potential departure.
Durant was moved to speak up against the rumors that the team is better off without him, however. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted, Durant shut it down.
“As a player, I think about that, and I just think, ‘Oh, that’s just not true,'” Durant said during after team’s win in the Western Conference Finals sent them to a fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
“That’s just not facts when it comes from a basketball perspective.”
Kevin Durant (calf) has been listed as questionable for Game 5 Monday. pic.twitter.com/Y01Lqmq9se— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 9, 2019
It was not clear when a determination could be made about Kevin Durant’s status for Game 5, but it could be trending toward a game-time decision.