Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II, who fractured his elbow in Round 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies after Dillon Brooks clubbed him mid-air, will return to action for the NBA Finals, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Charania reports there's optimism from the Warriors Payton could be back as soon as Game 1.
Brooks actions, which earned him a one-game suspension, provoked Warriors coach Steve Kerr's "broke the code" comments and became a source of contention between the two teams during the second-round series.
Brooks later expressed some regret over the play, saying: “If I were able to take it back, I would. But that’s in the past.”
Payton, a role player, is a significant part of the Warriors' depth — often tasked with defending the opposing team's best guard.
The Warriors are heading to their sixth Finals in eight seasons and could face the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat. Boston currently leads the series 3-2, with Game 6 taking place Friday night.