As the NBA playoffs loom just around the corner, the Golden State Warriors collectively held their breath when Steph Curry limped off in the third quarter. He had just returned from an ankle injury, but it appears teammate JaVale McGee accidently landed awkwardly on Curry’s knee, putting the former MVP in obvious pain.
Curry left the game immediately, and had an MRI the next day. It revealed a Grade 2 MCL sprain (thankfully not a tear), and the team announced he would be re-evaluated in three weeks. Conveniently, the NBA playoffs start on April 14, which is also three weeks away.
However, Warriors coach Steve Kerr says that there’s no way Curry will play in the first round, no matter what.
Steve Kerr's full comment/update on Steph Curry, saying he won't play in the first round pic.twitter.com/jtQ7aPdP25
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 25, 2018
“No, there’s no way he’s playing in the first round. There’s no way,” Kerr said. “I mean, he’s being reevaluated in three weeks, so we’ve got to be ready to play without him and see how he’s coming along. The good thing is we’ve been through this. We went through it last year with KD. … It wasn’t the exact same timeline, but it was a similar injury and similar circumstances where we had to play without one of our best players. And we felt that appropriate fear and turned it up and got it going.”
“Then when KD came back, Finals MVP after missing six weeks. There’s a lot of similarities here and I think we should feel good about our ability to play through this stuff. And we also know Steph has a history of coming back strong from injuries. There’s a good chance, all goes well, he comes back at some point during the playoffs and we’re at full steam. That’s our goal and that’s our plan.”
The Warriors should be fine to coast through the first round without Curry, considered the talent they have. However, the Rockets appear to be a legit threat to the Warriors’ recent dominance. Golden State really needs everyone at full strength if they cross paths with Houston in the playoffs, presumably in the Western Conference Finals.
Curry, meanwhile, is trying to remain optimistic — and maybe prove Kerr wrong about getting back on the court for the first round of the playoffs:
“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.”