Steve Kerr struck a more optimistic tone on Friday about Kevin Durant’s status after admitting Thursday night that his calf injury “was a little more serious than we thought.”
The Warriors announced Thursday ahead of their Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers that Durant would not return before Game 5. That declaration came prior to the Golden State coach’s postgame statement on the seriousness of his injury.
But Kerr gave Warriors fans reason for optimism Friday, clarifying that while Durant’s recovery is taking longer than expected, he’s on track to return this postseason.
Kerr on Durant: ‘Confident that he’ll be back’
“This one is taking a little bit longer than the ones he’s had in the past but that’s OK,” Kerr said. “He’s coming along well, and if he continues to improve at the rate he’s improving now, we’re confident that he’ll be back. We just don’t know when.”
For right now, that time frame should be plenty comforting for Warriors fans. Had Golden State not rallied from a 17-point deficit to hold onto home-court advantage on Thursday, then it would be a different story.
Warriors look strong sans Durant
But the Warriors are clicking with Durant out of the lineup and have posted three straight impressive wins since Durant left Game 5 against the Houston Rockets with his injury.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are thriving, and the Warriors look like they used to before Durant arrived.
The Blazers looked outmatched in Game 1 before Thursday’s collapse in Game 2. So far there’s not much reason to indicate the Warriors have reason to be concerned, even if Thursday’s first half provided a sweat.
Until the Warriors do feel threatened, they have no incentive to rush Durant back. At this rate, that won’t be until the NBA Finals.
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