Latest injury updates on GP2, Porter and Iguodala before Finals


SAN FRANCISCO -- With the 2022 NBA Finals two days away, the Warriors could be getting some key reinforcements in the near future. Tuesday was another big step forward for Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala. 

"Gary, Andre and Otto all took part fully in practice today," Steve Kerr said to reporters. "We did not do a live scrimmage, but we did do kind of scout-team work, half-court offense and defense. 

"It was definitely work that was ramped up. Seems like everybody got through it well, but we'll know more tomorrow and then we'll have another practice tomorrow." 

The Warriors also will do more contact work Wednesday, which will be a big indication of how close to a return Payton, Porter and Iguodala all are. 

Payton sustained a fractured left elbow in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies, not even three minutes into the contest. He has missed Golden State's last nine games. As a left-handed shooter, the injury of course further complicates his comeback. 

The question is, even as more of a defensive specialist, can Payton shoot right now? 

"He has extended his range over the last week or so," Kerr said. "That's part of what he'll be doing tomorrow as we determine whether he'll be able to play." 

Payton wouldn't get into specifics, instead saying he "still has a lot of boxes to check off." Clearly his shooting range is one of them. He's keeping the rest under wraps. 

Obviously, he isn't back to 100-percent healthy while still wanting to do anything he can to help contribute to the Warriors in his first Finals appearance. 

His return to help slow down Boston would be a major boost for the Warriors, too. 

"Starting to feel normal," Payton said. "Still not me yet." 

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Porter, who missed Game 6 of the second round with right foot soreness, has missed the Warriors' last two games to left foot soreness. He sustained the injury early in the second quarter of the Warriors' Game 3 win against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals. 

He was a plus-27 in the first two games of the conference finals, and is a plus-91 overall this postseason in 13 games. Porter in the playoffs has scored in double figures four times and has grabbed at least five rebounds five times. 

Iguodala last played in Game 4 of the first round. A lingering neck issue has sidelined him for the past 12 games. In the meantime, he essentially has served as an extra coach on the Warriors' bench. 

For how invaluable his basketball knowledge and leadership is, getting him back on the court would be a welcome sight for Kerr and the rest of the Warriors. If this is indeed Iguodala's final season, there also isn't a better way for the 38-year-old to go out than as a champion once again with the Warriors.

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