Kevin Durant may not be ready to return for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Trail Blazers on Thursday, but that’s not stopping the Warriors star from wanting to be on the court.
According to Klay Thompson, the forward is “dying” to return from his strained calf.
“Just him being back there in the locker room and being around practice, I know he’s just dying to get out there on the court,” Thompson said Wednesday (via The Mercury News). “But we definitely feel his energy, and we can’t wait until he comes back. We miss him.”
Durant has missed the Warriors past two games after suffering a left calf strain late in the third quarter of Golden State’s Game 5 of the conference semifinals against the Rockets.
Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that Durant is expected to miss the Warriors’ Game 2 on Thursday, though it hasn’t officially been announced. It’s not clear when Durant will be able to return as he hasn’t resumed on-court activity yet.
“He’s handled it great. He’s vocal still, still being a leader. He’s staying in all of our ears,” teammate Quinn Cook said of Durant. “He’s vocal during film, and it’s been great. I know he’s been putting in extra, extra work, so I know he’s excited to get back and we can’t wait to have him back.”
Though Durant’s return doesn’t appear imminent, forward Andre Iguodala explained that his teammate is preparing for every game with the mindset that he will return.
“You gotta up your level of focus and intensity and he’s always done that,” Iguodala said. “He’s looking forward to coming back, so he’s putting himself in that mode as if he’s preparing for each game like he’s going to play. He’s always had that and it’s always good to see in him.”
Before Durant’s injury, he played an integral role in the Warriors’ postseason run as he has scored 34.2 points per game. Curry has stepped up big in Durant’s absence, scoring more than 30 points in the last two games, while Thompson has scored 25-plus in each game.
Game 2 of the Warriors’ Western Conference finals against the Trail Blazers will tip off at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. Golden State is up 1-0 in the series.