High-profile injuries in NBA Finals put pressure on athletic training staffs

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SportsPulse: Trysta Krick explains why both the Warriors and the Raptors head into Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a ton of pressure on them.
USA TODAY

TORONTO — A man you’ve probably never heard of is under immense pressure at the NBA Finals. He doesn’t dribble, shoot, pass or draw up plays.

His name is Rick Celebrini, and he is the Golden State Warriors’ director of sports medicine and performance.

Celebrini and his staff are working hard to get star Kevin Durant back on the court while keeping the player’s best interest in mind. Durant, who will be a free agent this summer, has been out since May 8 with a strained calf.

“When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. That’s our approach,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said earlier in the series against Toronto, which the Raptors lead 3-1.

The Warriors hope to have Durant back for Game 5 on Monday (9 p.m. ET, ABC), but Durant’s health hasn’t been Golden State’s only concern.

They weren’t sure about the availability of DeMarcus Cousins, who sustained a torn quadriceps in the first round of the playoffs. In the big picture, he had played just 30 games before that since returning from a devastating Achilles injury. He…

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