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As every sports fan can tell you, injuries are simply part of the game. That doesn’t make them any less frustrating, though. It’s especially brutal when stars like Stephen Curry and Kaly Thompson get hurt; fans want to watch the best players shining on the court, not sitting on the bench.

While Thompson won’t be back before the end of the season, Golden State Warriors fans recently received some good news. Steph Curry is cleared for physical contact and has a target date for his return to NBA action.

The Golden State Warriors’ lost season

Coming into the 2019-20 campaign, the Golden State Warriors knew things would be a bit different than previous seasons. Filling gaps in the lineup left by guys like Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala was always going to be tough, but things quickly went from bad to worse.

No matter the personnel issues, however, the Warriors still had Stephen Curry; his offensive ability was able to paper over the cracks. That all changed four games into the season, though, as the guard broke his left hand.

With Curry out of the lineup, the Warriors started to plummet. The club is the worst in the league in terms of offensive rating; they’re not much better on the defensive end of the floor. Unsurprisingly, Golden State is sitting in the cellar of the NBA standings, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Stephen Curry has a return date in mind

Losing is never fun, especially when you’re used to competing for NBA championships. Thankfully, Golden State Warriors fans will be able to see Stephen Curry soon. After months of rehab, the guard has been cleared for contact; he’s aiming to return to the court in a matter of days.

“It’s always been March 1,” Curry explained after taking part in practice on Saturday. “But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you’re building towards. Like I’ve always said, I haven’t had any setbacks along the way, this has been a very long, strenuous rehab process, and it’s something I haven’t been through before, so it’s nice that I’m getting that type of response with every new challenge that I kind of go after.”

That’s not to say that everything is back to normal, however. Curry is still adjusting to his surgically repaired hand and how everything feels on the court.

“I’m getting used to what a new normal is,” the guard continued. “It definitely feels different than the right [hand], But you can try to get to a point when you’re actually playing basketball, you don’t think about it. Whether it feels all the way the same or not, it really doesn’t matter. As long as I’m not worried about the things that I’m trying to do, the strength part of it. And how it bounces back the next day after pushing it, whether it’s contact stuff or all that, you have to pay attention to all that type of stuff … it is going to feel different.”

Stephen Curry return will still be significant

While Stephen Curry’s return to the lineup might not mean a great deal in terms of the standings, it’s still significant for the Golden State Warriors and their fans. After a long season, everyone can use a bit of a feel-good factor.

“I think everybody’s excited,” head coach Steve Kerr explained. “He got an ovation today when I told the group he was going to scrimmage with us. Everybody was excited. It will be good for our young guys to feel what it’s like to play with him and vice versa. Steph needs to get to know these guys, too … it’s a big part of the final third of the season is everybody playing together, acclimating together, with the trade for Andrew [Wiggins], the young guys, Steph coming back, these games matter.”

This season has been brutal in the Bay Area. With Steph Curry returning to the lineup in March, though, things are finally starting to turn around.