OAKLAND (AP) — Stephen Curry is impatient and eager to get back in a game for the Golden State Warriors, yet he knows it’s not worth risking re-injuring his left knee by pushing his return too soon.
The two-time MVP on Friday went through his first 5-on-5 scrimmage since the injury but coach Steve Kerr wasn’t ready to proclaim Curry a go for Saturday night — that might not be decided until after the morning shootaround. Kerr listed Curry’s status as questionable for a second straight day ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena.
“Still to be determined,” Curry said. “They come up with those snazzy words for a reason — doubtful, questionable, probable. I’ve learned a lot about what those words mean this year. Just trying to work my way up, do what I need to do, do whatever Chelsea (Lane) and the rest of the athletic training staff and coach needs to see to get me back out there. That’s the only thing I can really focus on right now. It is good to be back actually playing basketball and doing basketball things.”
Curry, Kerr and Lane spoke in depth after Friday’s scrimmage, which wasn’t visible to media members with a curtain blocking one court at team headquarters.
On Thursday, Curry resumed full practice with contact but Kerr wanted to see how Curry responded after consecutive intense days of on-court work before he and the training staff decided when to let Curry return.
“A big part of this is how he turns up tomorrow after a night’s rest,” Kerr said. “It’s the first time he’s scrimmaged in six weeks, five weeks, whatever it is. It’s not as simple as he feels good, throw him out there. It’s more about give him a few days, see how he responds from there.”
There was still no date for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series, though Curry was hoping if he couldn’t play Saturday that the game would be at least Tuesday — not Monday — to give him a better chance.
He nearly feels like himself again, moving the way he’s used to during a game. Curry isn’t sure what kind of minutes to expect initially when he does return but figures he will discuss that with Kerr ahead of time.
“I’m getting there,” he said. “My knee feels pretty good. I don’t have any pain with doing things I’ve been doing.”
Curry wore compression leggings Friday to protect his sprained knee, which has sidelined him since the injury March 23. It was bad luck given that’s the same day he returned from a six-game absence because of a hurt right ankle.
He was happy to not need a brace he tried out Thursday. The Warriors eliminated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the first-round series with a 99-91 win Tuesday night and Curry wants to make sure he doesn’t disrupt any flow or momentum with the team on a roll.
“The priority for us is to be the best team we can be,” he said. “When I’m 100 percent healthy and doing what I need to do I obviously try to lead that charge but right now the conversations become how can you manage those minutes and still be productive and still have a cohesive lineup and flow to the game and all that type of stuff. That’s what Coach has to think through.”
Curry said he wasn’t trying to persuade Kerr or Lane to let him play Saturday.
“There’s no real politicking at all, it’s not that serious. It’s a matter of how you feel, can you do this, can you do that and check off all the boxes along the way,” he said. “Once I get through all those checkpoints and have confidence in myself and my body I’ll be out there, whether that’s tomorrow night or Monday or Tuesday, whenever Game 2 is, that’s the process that I’m all too familiar with.”