The Golden State Warriors aren't scheduled to formally update the status of Kevin Durant's left knee until next week, but there is cautious optimism within the organization that Durant -- should he maintain his current recovery arc -- will be able to return to the court before the end of the regular season, according to league sources.
While noting that Durant is roughly at the halfway stage of his recovery period, sources told ESPN.com that the Warriors are encouraged by the progress Durant has made in the 22 days since he suffered a sprained MCL and tibial bone bruise in his left knee on Feb. 28.
Hours before Golden State's victory Tuesday night in Dallas, Durant completed his first on-court workout that involved shots on the move as well as some running. Durant watched the Warriors' comprehensive wins Monday and Tuesday in Oklahoma City and Dallas from the bench during his first road trip with the team.
An official update from the Warriors on Durant's progress is expected mid-to-late next week. Of prime importance now, sources said, is how Durant responds to the increased intensity of his rehab work.
Before Tuesday's victory over the Mavericks, Warriors coach Steve Kerr reiterated to reporters that he will wait for Durant's official re-evaluation before making a detailed comment about his potential return. But Kerr did acknowledge that he continues to like what he sees as Golden State's leading scorer has progressed swiftly from shots in a chair to standstill shooting to the circuit he was able to complete Tuesday afternoon, which was captured on video by SB Nation.
Durant looked pretty comfortable shooting jumpers before the Mavericks game. didn't see him doing anything more explosive than this, though. pic.twitter.com/E51raIkkeY— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) March 21, 2017
At the time Durant suffered the injuries, Golden State announced that he would be "out of action indefinitely" but added that "it has not been ruled out that he could play again before the end of the regular season." Sources close to the situation reiterated this week that the Warriors hope Durant progresses enough to get in some game action during the final week of the regular season so he doesn't have to jump into postseason play cold.
At the time of his injuries, Durant was averaging a team-leading 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in his first season with the Warriors, whom he joined in July in one of the biggest free-agent moves in league history.