Durant Out For Game 2, Aiming To Return In Oakland

12:43pm: Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed today to reporters, including Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group (Twitter link), that Durant is out for Game 2 on Sunday.

A Warriors source told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com that Durant would likely still be weeks away from returning if this were the regular season, due to the risk of re-injury. Kerr cited that possibility of re-injury today, telling reporters that Durant won’t return until he’s ready, no matter how the series plays out (Twitter link via Blake Murphy of The Athletic).

8:34am: Despite some speculation that Kevin Durant may not be able to play at all during the 2019 NBA Finals, the Warriors don’t envision a scenario in which their star forward will be unavailable all series, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Unless he suffers a setback, Durant is expected to return from his calf strain midway through the Finals, according to Haynes, who writes that some members of the organization believe a Game 3 return could be viable. However, Game 4 looks like the more likely option at this point, Haynes notes.

Durant, who suffered his calf injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Houston, will have been sidelined for four weeks as of next Wednesday, the date of Game 3 of the Finals in Oakland. However, he has been making positive progress in his rehab.

Sources tell Haynes that Durant began on-court basketball workouts earlier this week, and now has about three or four days of on-court work under his belt. His teammates have been encouraged by his progress, Haynes adds, though the two-time Finals MVP will need to go through at least one full practice before he’s cleared to return.

While the Warriors finished off the Rockets and swept the Trail Blazers without Durant in their lineup, their Game 1 loss in Toronto on Thursday showed that his presence may be more critical in this series, with the club struggling to generate offense outside of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

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