Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Team LeBron warms up before the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 17, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Warriors are likely to be without Kevin Durant when the 2019 NBA Finals begin May 30, with the small forward yet to get clearance to begin on-court activities. Durant suffered a right calf strain during Game 5 against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Warriors forward was expected to return after a short hiatus, but apart from missing part of the fifth game and Game 6 against the Rockets, he also missed the 4-0 sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals. The reigning back-to-back champions were hoping to have Durant back for the finals against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors.

But Steve Kerr’s assessment about the injury being worse than initially suspected seems to be true as the forward is yet to return to begin on-court practice. He is certain to miss Game 1 of the NBA Finals and Warriors general manager Bob Myers has explained the reason for the added delay, following a statement from the team after Thursday practice.

“Durant, who has not yet been cleared to begin on-court activities, continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation. At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it's hopeful that he could return at some point during the series,” a statement from the Warriors read.

Myers was full of praise for Durant’s commitment to ensure there was no setback in the recovery process and he admitted the forward needed no extra motivation to be back on the court as soon as possible. However, he admitted the delay in Durant’s return was because the team did not want to take any risk of a potential setback.

The Warriors are keen to ensure Durant plays some role during the NBA Finals series, but Myers was certain that any form of a setback in the injury recovery process or after he returns would ensure that he plays no part in the summit clash.

"The tricky thing with Kevin is you cannot have a setback because we're so up against it," Myers said on 95.7 The Game on Thursday afternoon, as transcribed by NBC Sports Bay Area. "This is not something you can push hard because if you have a setback, it kind of takes you out of the equation."

"So you have to be very diligent and smart. And [Director of Sports Medicine and Performance] Rick Celebrini is great and Kevin has been unbelievable in showing up twice a day and putting all the work in that he can. You don't need to motivate Kevin Durant to want to get back,” he added.