Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney hopes to play against the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Thursday night after reaggravating his collarbone injury in Game 5 on Monday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Per the Mercury News‘ Mark Medina, Golden State’s training staff told Looney there is no risk in making the injury any worse by playing. As a result, Looney intends to get treatment over the next few days and try to play through the pain.
Looney was initially injured midway through the first quarter of Game 2 on June 2. He had been ruled out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a non-displaced right first costal cartilage fracture.
Although he was held out of Game 3, he was able to return to the court in Game 4 after Shelburne reported he was “lobbying hard.”
After playing 20 minutes on Friday, Looney played 18 minutes on Monday night and was visibly in pain at times throughout the game:
Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA
Respect to Looney. Dude is battling. https://t.co/NDKqLF8JHK
He exited the game late in the third quarter and did not return, finishing with four points and three rebounds.
If he is unable to give it a go in Game 6, it would be a tough blow to the Warriors’ rotation. Looney averaged 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during the regular season, making 24 starts in 80 appearances. While he has not started during the postseason, he has averaged 20.3 minutes per contest.
As ESPN Stats and Info noted, the team has performed well with Looney on the court:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
The Warriors are going to miss Kevon Looney, who’s out indefinitely with a costal cartilage fracture. Prior to his injury in Game 2, Golden State was +12.6 per 100 possessions with Looney on the floor this postseason, the best mark of any player on the roster. https://t.co/vZM2jGTdLH
The 6’9″, 220-pound center has provided Golden State with much-needed size while still allowing it to play at a fast pace.
Looney’s availability for the remainder of the series became even more crucial after two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant suffered a potentially season-ending Achilles injury in Game 5. Shelburne reported the Warriors believe Durant suffered a torn right Achilles.