Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins not close to returning, Steve Kerr says

Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins not close to returning, Steve Kerr says originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

OAKLAND – With Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins looking to return from their respective leg injuries, Warriors coach Steve Kerr ditched any hope either would be available to play in the near future ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday evening. 

“I think everyone needs to slow down a little bit on the Kevin stuff,” Kerr said Monday afternoon. “He hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet.” 

“DeMarcus is probably similar,” Kerr added. “He hasn’t had any live stuff on the court yet. He’s not that close either. Hopefully, another week goes by and he’ll get better and now we have a better prognosis but at this point, we’re getting ready for this series without both of them.”

While Durant — who injured his calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference second-round series against the Rockets — is expected to be re-evaluated Thursday, a report from the New York Times said Cousins could make his return from a torn quad during the series. However, other than light jogging and defensive slides, Cousins – who injured his quad in Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round series against the Clippers – has yet to do any serious on-court contact work with the team during Golden State’s playoff run.

Following Monday’s practice, Cousins was seen taking 3-pointers and jogging with a team official.  

“I guess now that’ll be the headline ‘Kerr says it’s unlikely DeMarcus will return,” Kerr said.”We evaluate week to week but if a guy hasn’t had any live action the day before the first game of a series it’s tough to see that turning around quickly. 

[RELATED: Warriors’ bench key to beating Blazers without KD]

Last week, Durant didn’t travel with the team, watching the series-clinching win over Houston in his Bay Area home. When asked about KD’s availability going forward before Game 6, Kerr was tight-lipped, an approached he explained Monday. 

“We’ve tried to remain somewhat vague because the injury is really sort of open-ended as far how long he’ll need to recover but I think in doing so people have gotten the idea that he’ll be Willis Reed or something,” Kerr said. “He hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet, he still has pain. There’s some time ahead of him on the rehab process so we’ll have a more detailed update on Thursday.” 

The Warriors officially announced later Monday afternoon that Durant and Cousins are out for Game 1 vs. Portland.

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