Stephen Curry, the reigning league MVP, underwent an MRI on his ailing ankle Tuesday, and Golden State Warriors officials said that the test did not reveal anything of concern.
Despite the positive MRI report, it’s likely that Curry will once again sit out of Game 3 on Thursday since his Warriors are 2-0 up in the first round against Houston Rockets and favored to win the series, with or without their superstar point guard.
The 2015-16 scoring champion (30.1 ppg) suffered the untimely injury when he sprained his right ankle during the second quarter of Game 1 on Sunday. After Curry missed a shot, he twisted the ankle when he turned around to get back on defense. Since the Warriors were in a commanding position, coach Steve Kerr pulled Curry out of the contest and hasn’t risked him since.
After missing the team’s practice session Sunday and shootaround on Monday, Curry was seen limping a little, according to teammate Draymond Green. In fact, Curry was seen shaking his head and leaving the court prior to tipoff – a clear indicator that star guard is reeling from the injury.
Despite Curry’s absence, Warriors took care of business in Game 2, and coach Kerr reiterated that the team’s priority was the MVP’s health and not the status of the series. “We’ll see how he responds the next couple of days, and if he’s not right, obviously being up 2-0 does give us more cushion if we decide to sit him. But it will be based on his health — not the series score,” the Warriors coach said Monday night.
Stephen Curry: Remember Grant Hill?
Coach Kerr has a very strong message to the rest of the NBA and why it’s important to prioritize the health of a superstar above all. He cited the example of former NBA great Grant Hill and said teams had learned from their past mistakes.
“We know that he (Curry) had surgery on that ankle four years ago. He’s got a lot of basketball ahead of him. There are plenty of cases in the past where people played through stuff, and it didn’t turn out so well.
“Grant Hill being the one that always jumps out at me. Whether that is the same type of thing as this, I don’t really know. I do know is that we have to look after his health because the competitor that he is, he’s going to want to play.”
Are Warriors hiding something?
According to ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, “there’s currently an opacity to what’s going on with Curry. Truths are still tucked away, hidden behind that training room door.” In postgame, Kerr mentioned Curry’s “foot,” even though the official word was “tweaked ankle.”
In fact, Kerr isn’t even sure if the injury is related to the foot or the ankle. “I don’t know. Honestly. It’s both. I mean, I’m not sure I know the difference. It’s the back of his foot, it’s the ankle, it’s something down there.”
It seems like Warriors might just rest Stephen Curry for the remainder of the first round series against Houston Rockets. Wouldn’t they rather have a fully healed Curry back for the second round in a potential match-up against arch rivals Los Angels Clippers?