Golden State All-Star guard Stephen Curry will be sidelined due to injuries to his left leg, the team said Sunday, and the Warriors aren’t sure how many weeks he’ll miss.
Curry was diagnosed after an MRI with partial tears to his superior tibiofibular ligament and interosseous membrane in his left leg and also has a lower-leg contusion. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr stressed Sunday that the news could have been far worse.
“I didn’t know those ligaments existed,” Kerr said. “I think the main thing is he’s going to be out for a little bit. We’re going to reevaluate in a few days. And the good news is, he’s going to be back. We don’t exactly know when but it’s not an injury that’s going to keep him out for the season. He’s going to come back this season and hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Curry left Saturday’s game against Dallas with 2:01 left in the third quarter, after his wrapped left leg — which he originally hurt on Thursday in a matchup against Denver — appeared to buckle as he played defense. He immediately began hopping in obvious discomfort, then left the game and didn’t return.
Curry, who is averaging 29.4 points per game this season, won’t play on Monday against Oklahoma City. And with the All-Star Game two weeks away, it now seems very possible that Curry might not be there.
If Curry — or any of the other 24 players selected to the NBA All-Star Game — cannot participate in the Feb. 19 contest, Commissioner Adam Silver will select a replacement. Starters were chosen by a formula that included voting from fans, media and NBA players. Reserves were picked by NBA coaches.
Curry already has had one extended absence of the season, missing 11 games from Dec. 16 through Jan. 7 with a shoulder injury. The Warriors went 6-5 in those games, and has five games left before the All-Star break.
“We just got through a stretch without him … and held our own,” Kerr said. “We know we can hold our own now. We went through this last year when he missed I think the final 10 games of the season or so and obviously went on a great run in the playoffs. We have some experience with this and we’re confident that we can keep things going and be where we want to be by the end of the year.”
The Warriors, like many teams in the Western Conference, have very little room for error in the playoff chase. Golden State is 27-26 and entered Sunday seventh in the West — three games back of third-place Sacramento but only one game ahead of 11th-place Portland.
The top six teams in each conference are assured playoff spots. The teams that finish between seventh and 10th will go to a play-in tournament to decide the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in each of the conference brackets.