It looks like Kevin Durant isn't close to returning from his calf injury, after all.
It's been more than a week since the former MVP suffered the injury during Game 5 of the second-round series against the Houston Rockets. While we knew Durant would miss Game 6 of that series, he also wound up missing Game 1 of the Golden State Warriors' Western Conference finals matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
After being re-evaluated prior to Game 2 on Thursday, Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced that Durant isn't going to travel with the team to Portland and will miss Games 3 and 4 of the conference finals. The team provided an official update on both Durant's status and DeMarcus Cousins' as well:
Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who suffered a strained right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets on May 8, has shown good progress since beginning his rehabilitation program one week ago. At this point, Durant is not ready to advance to on-court work.
Center DeMarcus Cousins, who suffered a torn left quadriceps muscle during Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 15 and has missed the last 11 games, has progressed to on-court work, but is still not ready for live action.
At this time, the plan is for both players to be re-evaluated again in one (1) week. Both Durant and Cousins were examined by the team's medical staff earlier today.
The Warriors also announced that DeMarcus Cousins has progressed to "on-court work" after suffering a torn left quad last month in Golden State's opening round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. There's still belief that Cousins could return to the team at some point during the postseason.
The Warriors won rather easily over the Blazers in Game 1, defeating them 116-94 and never trailing during the final 46 minutes of the game.
This is still a long series and there is optimism that Durant can return, assuming this series extends beyond four games. A potential Game 5 would take place next Wednesday and a Game 7, if necessary, would take place two Sundays from now -- 10 days away.
With the first game of the NBA Finals to take place on May 30, that would give Durant two more weeks to recover.
While the Warriors may be able to get through the West finals without their leading scorer, their destiny isn't as certain in the NBA Finals if they have to match up with the likes of the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks.
In other words, it may be wise to rest Durant and his calf for the remainder of this series -- especially if the Warriors take a 2-0 lead over the Blazers after Game 2.