TORONTO — Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant will not play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but Andre Iguodala is expected to be available to play against the Toronto Raptors, coach Steve Kerr said Friday.
Durant will continue rehabbing a right calf injury that has kept him out of the lineup since May 8.
“Kevin’s not going to play Sunday,” Kerr said. “I guess we’ve been sort of holding out hope, but I might as well just say it now. He’s not practicing today. We’ll have a practice tomorrow, but he’s still progressing. It’s near impossible for him to play on Sunday.”
Durant has been doing individual work since the Warriors touched down in Toronto, but he has not been cleared to participate in full practices. The Warriors continue to take a day-to-day approach regarding his availability, hopeful that he will be able to ramp up his workouts in the next few days.
“The thinking is, when he’s ready to play, he’ll play,” Kerr said. “It’s not like this is a sore ankle or his knee is sore, whatever, and you can play through it. This is a tricky one. If you re-injure the calf, then that’s it and then he’s done for the series. So when he’s ready to play, he’ll play. That’s our approach.”
Whenever Durant does return, Kerr does not believe it will be in a limited role.
“I don’t see that,” Kerr said. “When he’s ready to play, we’re going to play him. Maybe it will be a minutes issue based on his conditioning for not having played in a month or whatever it is, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Once he’s ready to play, he’ll play. And then [Warriors director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] and I will discuss what a plan would be in terms of how many minutes and all that stuff.”
Aside from Durant’s lingering injury, the Warriors dodged another bullet Friday when an MRI on Iguodala’s left calf came back clean.
Iguodala, who sat out Game 4 of the Western Conference finals because of the same injury, played 29 minutes and tweaked the calf with 1:55 remaining in the Warriors’ 118-109 loss in Game 1 on Thursday. The veteran swingman limped down the floor after coming down awkwardly on his leg, but the Warriors are confident he will be ready for Game 2.
“Andre had an MRI this morning,” Kerr said. “And seems to be doing well. … He said he felt pretty good.”
Warriors forward Draymond Green says it has been good for both Durant and the rest of the team to have the big forward around the team again. Durant didn’t travel with the Warriors for the final two games of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers as he continued his rehab at home.
“You can see him inching closer back to the team,” Green said. “I think so much has been made of Kevin because of what lies ahead for him — ‘Oh, he’s not with the team; he’s not around; he’s not a part of it.’ In December or November or whatever month I was out, I wasn’t around the team either. And at times Steph was missing; he wasn’t around the team either. That’s kind of how the cookie crumbles. You’re on your own schedule. You’re rehabbing. You’re doing all these different things to get back.
“So now you kind of see him around the team more. All of a sudden he’s on the bus to shootaround or to practice. Once you start to get closer, you start to kind of move back into a normal schedule. You starting to see him, hear his voice more. You’re starting to hear him coming up with adjustments even before the game, giving his input. But that’s kind of just the natural build-up when you’re going through an injury.”
Kerr said the decision for Durant to travel was based on the fact that he could get the best treatment that way.
“Our training staff is here,” Kerr said. “And we need him with our training staff. And we also need our training staff for the rest of our players. And Kevin also wanted to be with the guys.”