As the Golden State Warriors trek their way to the playoffs, the path toward NBA title contention became more challenging after Stephen Curry‘s foot injury. The Warriors will be without their star point guard, at least through the rest of the regular season, eyeing a postseason return.
Although Curry avoided a more devastating fate, Golden State is embracing a precautionary route. However, the three-time NBA champion just aired comments about his foot injury that should draw some concern.
Stephen Curry expected to return for the playoffs
With the playoffs just about a month away, the Warriors were dealt a harsh blow.
The two-time league MVP suffered a sprained ligament in his left foot after Celtics guard Marcus Smart fell onto his leg after attempting to corral a loose ball. Curry avoided any structural damage, but the injury will keep him off the floor until the start of the playoffs.
The Warriors are taking the careful approach, which now becomes even more emphasized after Curry’s latest comments.
Stephen Curry reveals potential concerning red flag with his foot injury
As Stephen Curry moves through his recovery, the Warriors will closely monitor his progression.
Although the star point guard should return by the start of the playoffs, his ailment is more tricky than previously noted. In his first press conference since suffering the injury, Curry voiced that he has to move cautiously through the rehab process because lingering health issues will arise if he returns too soon.
“What I’m told, just in terms of the ligaments around the injury and the bone that’s underneath there, you want to not rush the beginning phases of healing, because that’s where you get the most progress,” Curry said Sunday via Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “This is one, I guess, where if you push it too soon, it can linger and be a real nuisance.”
That isn’t entirely discouraging news but does put another layer of precaution. In essence, the six-time All-Star is dealing with a sensitive injury that can easily flare up. He will move through the recovery, making sure his foot feels normal before progressing to the next stage of healing.
As much as Golden State needs Curry to lead the charge, the team can ill-afford to bring him back sooner than his foot is ready to perform. If he were limited, that would drastically impact the Warriors’ NBA title hopes. He’s the offensive anchor, and his ability to move off the ball to create space for shots is vital to his playing style.
There is no need to panic in Golden State, but Curry’s comments further underline appropriately handling his injury recovery.
Warriors need the rest of roster to pick up offensive slack
Curry’s comments shouldn’t put a damper over his imminent return, but the situation should emphasize the play of the talent around the star point guard.
His absence is a significant gut punch, but Golden State has assembled a strong, balanced group that can hold their own. The last 11 games of the regular season will allow other players to find their offensive groove before Curry’s return.
This month, Jordan Poole is putting together a highly productive stretch, averaging 23.8 points on 55.8% shooting from the floor and 49.4% from beyond the arc. In 10 games, he’s posted nine 20-point performances and a pair of 30-point outings. He has also shot 50% or above all but once and nailed at least four three-pointers seven times.
Although Klay Thompson is still working his way into form, his offensive production has picked up lately. He has tallied 20 or more points in three out of the last four games, including a season-high 38 points in the win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Warriors need much more than Thompson and Poole to pick up the offensive slack, but it’s a promising sign to see both finding a rhythm before the playoffs.