Kevin Durant could return from a calf injury as soon as Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Yahoo Sports reported.
Durant was hurt May 8, in the fifth game of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets.
Durant, sidelined for the past 6 games, traveled with the Golden State Warriors to Toronto but will not play in either of the first 2 games of the best-of-7 series. Head coach Steve Kerr said Durant would be considered a real "long shot" to suit up for Game 2 after Toronto opened the Finals with a win to take a 1-0 lead.
Yahoo reported there is optimism within the organization that Durant could play in Game 3, which is June 5. But the stronger possibility considering conditioning and risk of re-injury is Game 4 (June 7) of the series is more logical.
The Warriors had been 5-0 without Durant in these playoffs until Thursday's defeat.
"KD's an all-time great player on both ends of the floor, so I could sit here and talk for days about what he adds to our roster," Steph Curry said after Game 1. "We obviously have proven that when he's out, we can have guys step up and that's going to be the case until he gets back."
Durant has come up huge in the Finals for the past two seasons and is averaging 34.2 points per game this postseason. He was named Finals MVP each of the past two seasons, which ended with the Warriors hoisting the O'Brien Trophy.
"It's good to have Kevin here. Obviously he's a huge part of our team and the guys are all pulling for him," Kerr said Thursday. "It's such a privilege to be here and play in the NBA Finals for all of these guys. You grow up dreaming about this that you hate that anybody is injured. You want everybody to be healthy and have a lot more opportunity. More than anything, we want Kevin to be healthy, be back and enjoy at least part of the series. He's pretty good. It wouldn't hurt to have him back."
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