OAKLAND — Stephen Curry has resumed light shooting without movement on his injured right knee with the hopes he can get into scrimmages by later next week, perhaps in time to be ready for Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference semifinals at Portland.
Coach Steve Kerr said before Sunday’s Game 1 against the Trail Blazers that it’s “pretty slim” the reigning MVP would be ready for Game 2 on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
“It just depends how his week goes,” Kerr said of Curry’s status for Saturday’s Game 3. “We’ll just monitor him and see how it goes and hopefully get him back at some point. … It’s nice to have that long break between 2 and 3.”
Curry sprained the MCL in his knee when he slipped on a wet spot just before halftime of a Game 4 win at Houston in the first round last Sunday. He said Friday he hoped to do some shooting within a day or two, and that happened Saturday. He still will have to test the knee by putting pressure on it and planting on it when he shoots, then in some 5-on-5 scrimmages.
The Warriors are scheduled to take Wednesday off from practice, meaning Curry could get into running on the court by Thursday or Friday. After Curry’s MRI exam last Monday, general manager Bob Myers estimated that the point guard would be sidelined for two weeks, based on other players with similar injuries.
Not that Portland’s job is much easier against the defending champions in the best-of-seven series.
“They’re a great team without Steph. They’re a historically great team with him,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the game. “They have a style of play, they have an identity. Everybody understands their roles. They do what they do well. They’re an exceptional team with Steph and what he can bring to the table, but I think the last six quarters showed how good they are without him as well.”
Curry, of course, wants to shorten his time on the bench. He said Friday he knows he won’t be fully 100 percent when he returns.
“It’s all speculation,” Kerr said. “As Bob said from the beginning, the two-week timetable was just kind of a random guess more than anything based on past history of these MCL injuries.
“So, we don’t really know, but that’s the hope, is that by the middle of next week we’ll get him back in more basketball-type movements.”
For now, Curry — whose league-best 30.1 points per game are greatly missed — is enjoying watching his teammates succeed until he gets healthy.
“I had the utmost faith and confidence in the 14 other guys on this team to go out and show who they are and what they’re capable of, and they’ve obviously done that,” Curry said. “I only played 38 minutes in the first round and we finished it in five. They’re a very capable group without me. Obviously I’d like to be out there with them and I feel like we’re a better team when I’m out there, but the way that they play and the way they have that confidence and swagger about them, it’s fun to watch. We’re going to need that, the same energy, focus and confidence going forward to start this next round.”