For the second straight year the Warriors will be finishing up their regular season with the health of one of their superstars in question. While Kevin Durant was able to return for the final games of last season and dominate in the playoffs, Steph Curry’s timetable this year with a Grade 2 MCL sprain is still a bit blurry.
Curry suffered the injury on Friday night against the Hawks, with an MRI on Saturday revealing he would miss at minimum three weeks of action before being reevaluated. On Sunday, Steve Kerr was less than optimistic about Curry returning shortly after that evaluation, saying there was “no way” his star point guard would play in the first round of the playoffs.
Curry spoke with the media a little over an hour after Kerr took the podium for his pregame talk, and said he was going to try and prove his coach wrong by returning for that first round series, but noted he just has to be patient and go through the rehab process.
“Based on what I’ve been told, three weeks is a good benchmark to reevaluate and reassess where I’m at, my progress and what not,” Curry said. “So, mentally for me, staying positive and staying up beat. Hopefully I prove what coach said was wrong and put myself in a position to get back as soon as possible. Right now, who knows. Just do my “job” in the rehab process and try to get back as soon as I can. Control my presence with the team and help in anyway I can when I’m not on the floor.”
Curry’s been through plenty of injuries to his ankles and his knees over the course of his career, which gives him a pretty good idea of the process he’s going to be going through over the next month or so to get back on the court. It’s clear from this statement that he’s more worried about the mental aspect of the rehab process and staying positive about it all rather than the physical side which has to take care of itself through him doing the necessary work.
The hope for the Warriors is that they can take their first round series without Curry and give him that extra rest to get his knee (and ankle) right for what figures to be a fairly tough second round series in the West and a stout test in the conference finals. If the Warriors go up 2-0 on their first round opponent quickly, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they committed to keeping him shut down. However, if Golden State finds itself on the ropes early in the first round, the pressure to try and bring him back will grow stronger.