Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a play against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 25, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kevin Durant has been ruled out for the Golden State Warriors’ game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday after he failed to practice with the rest of the team in Houston on Tuesday. The small forward suffered an ankle injury during their 115-111 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

Durant left the court midway through the fourth quarter after rolling his ankle and failed to return for the rest of the game. The Warriors later confirmed he suffered an ankle contusion, which was ruled as minor by Steve Kerr during his post-match press conference.

The game against the Rockets is the first of four on the road for the Warriors and NBC’s Warriors reporter Logan Murdock claimed that there is optimism within the team that Durant will return before the end of the road trip. Durant was seen taking shots with his tennis shoes after the practice session adding to the optimism about his quick return.

Apart from the Rockets, the team will also face Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs in the next seven days. The Warriors have been inconsistent since the All-Star break losing five of their last nine including one to NBA’s second-worst team – the Suns.

Stephen Curry is not too concerned about their current form but believes they have to make changes as they enter the final stretch of regular season games before the playoffs begin. Durant will be a key component if the Warriors are to win their third straight NBA championship and coach Kerr will be keen to ensure he is fully fit before naming him in the playing squad.

Meanwhile, questions regarding Durant’s long-term future with the Bay Area team continue to linger with many expecting the forward to leave the franchise in the summer. The two-time NBA Finals MVP will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is yet to indicate if he will stay or look for pastures new.

ESPN’s Stephen A Smith believes the rumors circulating about Durant's potential departure from the Bay Area is “legit”. The NBA expert is certain that at the moment the small forward is considering leaving the reigning back-to-back champions, but he also gave two reasons why things could change by the time the summer arrives.

"I think the scuttlebutt about him departing from Golden State is legit because I definitely think he plans on leaving," Smith said recently on ESPN’s “First Take”. "But I want to emphasize two things: The Golden State Warriors as an organization does not plan on losing him, No. 1. And No. 2, Kevin Durant is the kind of dude that changes his mind."