Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II is likely to return from injury in the NBA Finals, maybe even as soon as Game 1, The Athletic reported Friday.
Payton sustained a fractured left elbow on May 3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series at Memphis on a rough foul that led to a suspension for Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks.
Payton has been increasing his workouts recently to prepare for his return.
The Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 on Thursday night to seal a 4-1 series win to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since their run of five straight finals appearances ended in 2019.
Payton, a journeyman guard, was a key component of the Warriors' rotation this season. The 29-year-old averaged career highs of 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 71 regular-season games (16 starts).
--Field Level Media