Warriors avoid disaster, KD diagnosed with a mild right calf strain

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Wednesday night, basketball fans worldwide collectively held their breath as Kevin Durant grabbed his leg in pain and walked back to the locker room after, suffering a seemingly non-contact injury. The initial fear was the worst case scenario: an Achilles tendon tear.
Thursday afternoon, the Warriors reported the Kevin Durant suffered a mild right calf strain and will be re-evaluated in one week.

Kevin Durant injury update: pic.twitter.com/M4oQBpLPyq

— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 9, 2019

So, what is a realistic timeline for Kevin Durant's return?

The typical recovery time for a grade 1 calf strain is around 7-10 days. This means KD will miss not only Game 6, but Game 7 (if needed) in Houston as well. The hope is that Durant would return sometime during the Western Conference Finals — that is if the Warriors can close out their current series against the pesky Houston Rockets.

Warriors will have to find a way to beat Houston in Western Conference semifinals, but Kevin Durant could be back for the Western Finals. https://t.co/NpwRRAPXkh

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 9, 2019

In 10 playoff games prior to his injury in Game 5, the two-time NBA Finals MVP was averaging a blistering 35-5-5 on 50/40/90 shooting splits. His presence on the hardwood will be sorely missed by Golden State who have come to rely on Durant probably more than they would like to as of late.

The Warriors have only played three games this season without Durant, winning two of them. The bulk of the offensive load will now fall to the Splash Brothers who have been struggling as of late. Two-time MVP and the widely renowned "greatest shooter in the world" Stephen Curry has been shooting an underwhelming 26% on 11.6 attempts from deep in this Houston series. Fellow sniper Klay Thompson is averaging 17.6 points against Houston while also having to defend last year's MVP James Harden. Both of them will look to up their game with KD sidelined and their historic three-peat opporunity on the line.

If the Durant-less Golden State Warriors take care of business against James Harden and the Houston Rockets, they will be headed to an astounding fifth straight Western Conference Finals, matching up with either Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, or Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.