FILE - In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, file photo, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, left, walks away from referee Ken Mauer during the first half of Game 5 of the team’s second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets in Oakland, Calif. Durant is yet to progress to on-court work in his recovery from a strained right calf and won’t be ready to return for Golden State in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Durant travels with the Warriors to Toronto ahead of finals

Raymond Ridder confirmed Durant was on the team plane that took off early afternoon West Coast time

Kevin Durant is travelling with the Golden State Warriors to Toronto for the first two games of the NBA Finals, leaving open the chance he could be ready to return from a strained right calf in time for Game 2.

Durant, the two-time reigning Finals MVP who has missed the past five games since getting hurt in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against Houston, has already been ruled out for Game 1 on Thursday night.

As of Monday, he had yet to do any full-speed work on the court as part of a formal practice though he had done some shooting, coach Steve Kerr said.

“If he did anything on the court, it would have been pretty light,” Kerr said.

READ MORE: Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder confirmed Durant was on the team plane that took off early afternoon West Coast time. The two-time defending champions held an optional practice Tuesday before travelling.

There will be two full days off before Game 2 on Sunday, giving Durant time to get further on-court work done that the Warriors would need to see before he is medically cleared.

“We’ll see where it goes from here,” Kerr said Monday. “This is where the fact that there’s a lot of days in between games during the finals helps us, so we’ll see.”

READ MORE: Police say it’s ‘impressive’ no arrests were made after Raptors celebration

Durant didn’t travel to Houston for Game 6 of that round or to Portland for the two road games against the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals. He remained in the Bay Area to rehab, and the Warriors are unbeaten without him.

An impending free agent this summer, he was hurt May 8 when he landed awkwardly on his right foot following a baseline jumper late in the third quarter of a 104-99 victory over the Rockets at Oracle Arena. Durant is averaging 34.2 points per game this post-season.

Kerr said Durant has been spending countless hours rehabbing to recover — hoping to get back soon to what he loves most.

“You get that fear of missing out on stuff, like practices and shootarounds and new game plans and stuff like that. That’s what I miss the most, obviously, grinding on the court individually and with my team. But that’s out of my hands. Out of my control,” Durant said Friday.

“My task is to try to conquer this, and I think that’s the journey (we’re) on as basketball players. So I’m pretty much down for anything but I’m excited that I’m making progress.”

Centre DeMarcus Cousins, out with a torn left quadriceps muscle he injured in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers, hadn’t been ruled out for Game 1 though Kerr mentioned the magnitude of coming back on the finals stage after so much missed time.

Cousins — in his first career post-season — scrimmaged Saturday and again Monday, a sign of progress he is closer to being ready.

“I feel better each and every day. That’s my whole goal, to make sure I get better with each day that comes,” Cousins said last week. “Hopefully, that opportunity comes, and I’m able to get on the floor and help my teammates and try to help them win a championship.”

Janie McCauley, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read