The golden State Warriors have announced that Kevin Durant is set to return to action on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans, as the regular season draws to a close, and the Warriors eye the playoffs.
The Warriors, who have now won a season-high 13-straight games (tied for the longest win streak in the National Basketball Association this season), finished the road schedule with a 31-10 record (.756) to become the first team in National Basketball Association history to win at least 31 games away from home in consecutive seasons (Golden State won an NBA-record 34 road games in 2015-16).
"I'm just going to go out there and be me", Durant said.
Golden State's co-leading scorer and top rebounder, Durant was hurt February 28 at Washington when Marcin Gortat pushed Zaza Pachulia and Golden State's center fell into Durant, who has missed 19 games since with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and bruised tibia.
Coach Steve Kerr said Durant, who scrimmaged in a 5-on-5 situation, has no minute restrictions because his knee ligament is fully healed.
"I play basketball for a living", Durant said. "Obviously I wanted to be out there and playing". He was hurt in Wednesday's game against the Phoenix Suns and didn't practice on Friday. To be away was different and tough but I looked at the big picture. "I didn't know what was going on". Durant can take the last three games of the season, and the first round of the playoffs, to slide back into a grove. "That day is here and I'm thankful".
Warriors star guard Stephen Curry is listed doubtful for Saturday's game with a left knee contusion, but Durant is not concerned about accumulating reps with the two-time MVP before postseason play. At 65-14, the Warriors would play the Portland Trailblazers if the playoffs began today.
For the season, the 29-year-old shooting icon is averaging 25.3 points and 6.6 assists per game.