TORONTO — Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant plans to play in Monday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant took part in morning shootaround and then went to receive treatment for the injured calf that has kept him out since May 8. He practiced Sunday with his teammates for the first time since getting hurt.
“It looked good and we’ll see where it all goes,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
After practice Sunday, the 30-year-old Durant had two big ice packs wrapped around the lower part of his right calf and his right Achilles tendon. He walked toward the team bus with assistant coach Mike Brown and members of the Warriors’ training staff.
The Warriors were hopeful that Durant would be able to return to action in Game 4, but he had not been cleared for practice up to that point. With Golden State facing a must-win game Monday, down 3-1 to the Raptors, Kerr said Sunday that his staff is hoping Durant will be able to return.
Kerr was asked about his concerns with Durant having missed so much time.
“You worry about the conditioning … the skill obviously is undeniable and he’s a guy who can get his shot off any time he wants,” he said.
But Kerr isn’t too worried.
“He’s Kevin Durant. So, if we have him out there, he’ll be a threat, we know that,” Kerr said.
Dealing with the injury has been frustrating, however.
“And we talked about it when the injury occurred, pretty vague a lot of gray area, one of the first things [Warriors director of sports and performance] Rick [Celebrini] told me with calves, it could be a couple weeks, it could be a couple months,” Kerr said. “And it’s not often you have injuries like that. Usually you kind of get that 4-6 week think or 2-3 weeks and so calves, Achilles, muscular stuff, it’s a little tougher to gauge than a joint. And when you combine that with the scrutiny and the media coverage of The Finals, we’ve just been in the spotlight, he’s been in the spotlight, and it’s been tough.”
Durant’s injury is one of several the Warriors continue to deal with. Klay Thompson is playing through a left hamstring injury, big man Kevon Looney is dealing with a nondisplaced first costal cartilage fracture on his right side, and Andre Iguodala has had a lingering calf injury for several weeks.
Sportsbooks accounted for the news that Durant was practicing on Sunday, as the point spread on Game 5 dropped. The Raptors had been listed as high as 3.5-point favorites. The line was down to as low as Toronto -1.5 on Sunday at some sportsbooks. The Raptors were posted as -700 favorites to win the series after their victory in Game 4. The series price was down to Toronto -575 as of Sunday at Caesars sportsbook.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr says the long layoff may affect Kevin Durant, but asserts that if KD plays in Game 5, he’ll be a threat.