Warriors' Durant not ready, Cousins 'pain-free'

TORONTO • Kevin Durant has resumed light workouts in his recovery from a calf injury, but the Golden State Warriors are not expecting the All-Star forward to feature in the first two games of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals in Toronto.

Durant's exercise consists of stationary shooting on his own, and head coach Steve Kerr said he is not ready for full-team workouts or 5-on-5 play.

"His next step is individual court work," Kerr said at a press conference on Wednesday. "That will be the next priority over the next couple of days.

"Hopefully, he can ramp that up, and then he's going to have to practise. We have to see him in practice before he can play a game."

Durant is eager to return, but accepts that patience is key.

"I'm just taking it a second at a time. Everything we do in the weight room, I just try to focus on that rep, not try to think too far down the line," he said.

Meanwhile, All-Star centre DeMarcus Cousins is "pain-free" after tearing a quad muscle last month, but Kerr is also uncertain he will play in the opener this morning (Singapore time).

Cousins suffered the injury in only his second career NBA play-off game, but the 28-year-old big man has recovered in time to give Kerr another option when the defending champions face Toronto in the best-of-seven series.

"DeMarcus has done an amazing job coming back from the injury, which we felt at the time was season-ending," Kerr said. "He has done an incredible job of rehabbing.

"Now here he is. He has scrimmaged a couple times this week. He's pain-free. So it's really more a matter of rhythm and timing and conditioning.

"This is not the regular season. This is the Finals. So we have to figure out what's the best way to utilise him, how many minutes he can play."

The Warriors are going for their third straight NBA title, which has not been achieved since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers, and a fourth crown in five seasons, a feat not seen since the 1969 Boston Celtics.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'Warriors' Durant not ready, Cousins 'pain-free''. Print Edition | Subscribe