The most important knee in the NBA playoffs still isn’t 100 percent, even though Steph Curry‘s initial timeline for return projected him coming back to the court around this time.
Once again, when asked about Curry’s MCL sprain, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said his star player would be “doubtful” to return for Game 4 against the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
“I would just say he’s doubtful for tomorrow, but slowly and surely making progress,” Kerr said Sunday (via ESPN.com).
There was a period of optimism in the Warriors’ camp involving Curry’s knee last week. Curry himself said the odds of him returning by Game 3 were “pretty good,” which seemed to corroborate Kerr’s prior comments that there was a chance Curry would play sooner rather than later, though it was admittedly “slim.” None of that, obviously, has come to fruition — not yet, anyway. However, Kerr also implied that just because Curry is listed as “doubtful,” it doesn’t mean he’s completely ruled out. Rather, the Warriors are giving Curry another 24 hours to see how he feels with doctors looking to give him the green light if he’s honestly ready:
You trust the medical staff in terms of, ‘Is there potential for more damage?’ Then you trust the player with how he’s feeling. Steph has been, even when he’s lobbied like in the Houston series when he hurt his ankle, he would lobby and then admit, ‘No, it’s probably not right.’ I know I’d get a truthful answer from Steph. He’s not going to try to be a hero, and we’ll make the reasonable decision based on all the information.
Will there be enough change by today that Curry will okay to play?
One thing to take away from Kerr’s comments is that he doesn’t sound pessimistic. To say he’s doubtful is one thing; the Warriors probably got a little ahead of themselves a week ago by indicating Curry would be ready sooner than his prognosis indicated. However, there’s no doom and gloom in Kerr’s answers, which feels like backdoor optimism that Curry is progressing well and could return before the series with Portland is over — maybe even Monday.
Though Portland won Game 3, there’s still a lot of confidence Golden State can advance to the Western Conference Finals without Curry. In that sense, there’s no need to rush him back. But if Curry feels ready, or even close to ready, he may get his shot.