Despite the uncertainty of his status ahead of the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant will travel with the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for the first two games against the Toronto Raptors, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
While Durant has been already ruled out for Thursday’s Game 1 of this final series, the fact that he is traveling with the team gives at least an outside chance that he could return for Game 2 on Sunday.
The Warriors’ playoff leading scorer has been out for three weeks now, since suffering a mild calf strain during the third quarter of Game 5 against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Head coach Steve Kerr mentioned Durant had yet to take part in any on-court activities, while DeMarcus Cousins remained “questionable” to appear for the start of the series.
Unlike Durant, Cousins has done on-court work for roughly a week now, which could allow him to return even sooner than Durant, depending on his stamina and all-around health.
Even if Durant doesn’t play in Game 2, practicing with the team during the next few days could allow him to return later in the series, potentially during a home stand in Games 3 and 4.
While the Warriors could well play this by a matter of feel, according to how the first two games shake out, Durant’s health and the realistic possibility of him playing substantial minutes will be at the forefront of the decision from team doctors and the coaching staff, as a hobbled back-to-back Finals MVP won’t be of much help against a team that has endured plenty of battles during this postseason.