NBA Playoffs Injury Questions: Is Stephen Curry Back For Game 1?

Mar 10, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the
Mar 10, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Doc is the FanDuel Official Injury Expert - Check out his home at Sports Injury Central (SIC) where his team analyzes all of the injury news from the NBA, MLB, NFL and more to assist you with your betting and fantasy sports plays.

As it has for the last decade, the Warriors’ playoff chances rest at the feet of Stephen Curry. In this case the metaphor is literal, specifically Curry’s sprained left foot that has kept him out since March 16.

During that time the Warriors went 6-6, finishing with a 5-game win streak behind the emerging Jordan Poole and the resurgent Klay Thompson. Golden State, the No. 3 seed will need Curry in true playoff form to contend with likely MVP Nikola Jokic and the gritty Nuggets.

The Sports Injury Central team of ProBasketballDocs – which includes former Bulls’ team doctor John Hefferon and Dr. David Chao, an orthopedic surgeon with basketball experience – believe that the Warriors have no reason to press Curry’s return and risk a potential setback. 

The medical team will need to be sure of Curry’s health before he plays. He will be back soon, although it's not a guarantee he will start in Saturday’s Game 1.

The ProBasketballDocs give the two-time MVP an SIC Health Score of 61 until they get confirmation he has progressed enough to handle the full playoff workload. 

When Curry is in true form, he is in constant motion and tires defenders out by weaving through a series of screens. With his injured foot not yet 100%, that is likely not be an option on offense. 

At the time of his injury, which occurred when Marcus Smart dove into Curry’s legs going after a loose ball, the Docs anticipated the 34-year-old would miss the final 12 games of the regular season and return for the playoffs. 

Curry progressed to individual workouts and was out of his walking boot at the close of the season. He is expected to participate in his first live scrimmage since the injury on Thursday.

Steve Kerr said the team will have a good indication of his progress by Friday when they see how his sprained and bruised foot responds to the scrimmage. 

In 64 games this season, Curry averaged 25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.3 steals on 60.1% true shooting. 

Curry returned from a late-season injury and helped lead the Warriors to the championship in 2017-18, missing 16 of the final 17 games with an ankle sprain and subsequent MCL sprain. 

During that championship run, he came back in the second game of the second round, scoring 25.5 points with 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and a career-low 2.9 turnovers in 15 playoff games to earn his third title in four years. 

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