Despite a scary incident last night, Kevin Durant has only suffered a mild right calf strain, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. He’ll miss the remainder of the team’s conference semifinal series but could return in the Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors initially determined that Durant had suffered a right calf strain in a Game 5 victory Wednesday night after he landed awkwardly on the foot of a Rockets defender with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter. That initial diagnosis was confirmed by an MRI, the team announced in a press release.
Now Golden State will brace for the task of closing out Houston on Friday night and potentially the remainder of the postseason. The Warriors were 3-1 in four games without Durant this season.
As Mark Medina of The Mercury News reports, the timetable for calf strains ranges dramatically. A Grade 1 strain could cost Durant seven-to-10 days while Grade 2 strains can sideline players for four-to-six weeks. Grade 3 strains can put athletes out of commission for as long as three months.
Durant does have some experience dealing with this type of injury, he missed three games with a right calf strain during the 2017-18 season and two games in the 2017 postseason.
Despite the setback and the unfortunate timing of it all, there’s a modicum of relief after initial fears that the forward had done something to his Achilles tendon were ruled out.
“He kind of looked back like he had been kicked or something,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I’ve seen that before with guys who have hurt their Achilles. That was my first question. I was assured it’s a calf strain, not the Achilles.“
Durant is bound for free agency this summer and could command max money wherever he ends up. It’s unlikely that this calf strain prognosis will impact that, although there’s precedent to suggest that an actual Achilles injury could have.