Steve Kerr is optimistic Kevin Durant will recover from a calf strain to play in the Western Conference finals if the Golden State Warriors get past the Houston Rockets.
Durant will miss the remainder of the semi-final series after leaving Game 5 at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.
The superstar forward remained in the Bay Area to undergo treatment when the Warriors returned to Houston on Thursday.
A 104-99 victory in Game 5 put the defending champions 3-2 up and head coach Kerr is hopeful Durant will still have a part to play if his side advance.
"I think it's good news," Kerr said. "Calf strain, he's had them before. He's responded well.
"Obviously we're disappointed he won't be able to play in this series. If we're able to win the series and move on, it looks good for his return in the not-too-distant future."
Golden State have been crowned NBA champions in three of the last four years and Kerr says that can give them the edge as they eye another title.
Headed to Houston pic.twitter.com/9BxuVXFsV9— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) 9 May 2019
"It's the playoffs, it's the ultimate test," Kerr said. "We're in a great spot, we're up 3-2. Got championship rings on our fingers. Lot of experience and a lot of confidence that comes from that. So let's go out there and let it rip."
He added: "There's an advantage to having championship experience. To have rings on your fingers. This group will never be doubted. This group has nothing to prove.
"There is a freedom with that. We're being hit with injuries, which is a part of it. One of the reasons it's so hard to win a championship is because things like this happen.
"We've been with injuries in the past during this run. This is probably the hardest we've been hit with DeMarcus [Cousins] and Kevin. The challenge is here, right there in front of our guys. We just have to win one game, so let's do it."
Published 10 May 2019, 13:32 IST