Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant (L) has been shouldering the scoring load in the absence of Stephen Curry for the Warriors. In this picture, Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors controls the ball against Harrison Barnes #40 of the Dallas Mavericks in the first half at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 17, 2018. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Kevin Durant has been shouldering the scoring load along with Klay Thompson in the last nine games for the Golden State Warriors following the groin injury picked up by Stephen Curry.

The Warriors point guard picked up the injury against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 8 and since missed nine straight games – much more than the initial diagnosis predicted.

The reigning back-to-back champions are unwilling to risk a relapse of the injury and are taking a cautious approach by giving Curry plenty of time to get back to full fitness. He was re-evaluated on Saturday and was finally given the all clear to return to practice this week with the Warriors hoping he can return for their game against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

The Warriors have struggled without their main scorer having lost five of their last nine games, which included four consecutive losses that saw them lose top spot in the Western Conference. They have since won two straight games against the Portland Trailblazers and the Sacramento Kings.

Durant has been leading the way, especially against the Kings when he scored 44 points to lead them to a 117-116 win. The small forward’s performance earned him hefty praise from Thompson, but despite that he revealed it was difficult to play without Curry and Draymond Green.

Green has been out with a toe injury and has missed the last five games – he is again missing for their Monday night clash against Orlando Magic. Despite their recent war of words, Durant heaped praise on the forward admitting that he brings a “unique approach” to the game.

“It’s not comfortable playing without them,” Durant said ahead of their game against Magic, as quoted on Slam. “They bring too much to the table to say that. But we’re just trying to figure out ways to be effective, each one of us on the court, when we’re on the court.”

“I think Coach has been trying to do a good job of mixing and matching the lineups and putting guys in position to be successful individually. And we’re trying to rely on our defense more so than anything when we got — we’re missing 30 points from Steph and any given night. You don’t know where it’s going to come from. You got to play more of a cerebral game without one of your best scorers. And then Draymond adds such a … he brings such a unique approach to the game with his defense, switching everything, roaming around,” he explained.

“But also the extra passing, and [grabbing] the rebound and pushing the pace. I think more so than anything we just try to rely on defense, and offense we figure it out, but it’s never comfortable without those two,” Durant added.