The Golden State Warriors have been banged up throughout the NBA Finals, but it appears they might be getting healthier.
Late Monday night, the franchise issued a press release which revealed that big man Kevon Looney suffered a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture and will be out indefinitely. Despite a report that Looney would miss the duration of the NBA Finals, head coach Steve Kerr has confirmed ahead of Game 4 that Looney will "give it a go" on Friday night.
Kevon Looney will "give it a go" in Game 4, according to Steve Kerr— Colin Ward-Henninger (@ColinCBSSports) June 7, 2019
Following the initial report that Looney would miss the remainder of the Finals, ESPN's Tim Bontemps was the first to report that Looney could return during the Finals.
Midway through the first quarter of Game 2 on Sunday night, Looney took a nasty fall after trying to defend a Kawhi Leonard drive. The Toronto Raptors star put his shoulder down and went right through Looney, who spun around in mid-air and landed awkwardly on his back and shoulder.
Kevon Looney gets injured on a Kawhi Leonard drive pic.twitter.com/t6fiQvdgNK— The Render (@TheRenderSports) June 3, 2019
Looney continued playing for a short time after the incident, but left the game for good after the first quarter. He underwent X-rays that came back clean, and said after the game that he was hopeful he would be able to play in Game 3, which didn't end up happening.
In addition, the Warriors lost Klay Thompson to a hamstring strain late in Game 2, and are already operating without Kevin Durant. They expect to have Thompson back in the lineup for Game 4, although Durant's return during the Finals remains up in the air.
Though Looney may not be a household name, he's an important part of the Warriors' rotation, Without him, the Warriors had been forced to play Andrew Bogut more, or spend a larger portion of the game going small.
Looney being able to return to the Warriors' rotation in Game 4 will make a major difference for a team that is currently trailing in the NBA Finals.