SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry said he expects to play at some point this season after breaking his left hand in an Oct. 30 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Curry, who had surgery on Nov. 1 in Los Angeles, was in good spirits as he spoke to the media for the first time since the injury prior to Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz.
“I definitely expect to be ready to play,” Curry said. “I don’t know when — at some point in early spring. Just a matter of the rehab process. I’ve never obviously broken anything and dealt with a hand injury like this. … [But] I’m excited about the potential that the rest of the season isn’t lost “
Curry, who wore a large brace around his hand, is expected to be out at least three months as he recovers. He said he will need another procedure on his hand in a few weeks as part of the recovery process.
“As part of the rehab, I have to get a second procedure done at the beginning of December probably and remove some of the pins that they put in there,” he said. “So the swelling’s going to be something that’s of the utmost priority early in the rehab process to give me a chance to come back and get my range of motion back pretty quickly. So travel is not in the cards right now, but hopefully when the new year hits, I’ll be able to be on the road and progress quickly in terms of things that I can do on the court, in the weight room, all that type of stuff, and obviously be around the team as much as I can.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, are 2-9, with Curry one of the many missing pieces from the team’s championship core. Klay Thompson, recovering from a left ACL injury, is among them, and it’s unclear when he will make his return to the floor. Curry said he looks forward to the day when they’ll both be out there again.
Coach Steve Kerr remains hopeful that both Curry and Thompson could return at some point later in the season and help the Warriors’ younger players grow within the organization’s system.
“It would be great,” Kerr said after Monday’s loss to the Jazz. “What we’re trying to do this year is build for the future. Obviously, Steph and Klay are part of the core, the core group, along with Draymond, in terms of what we want to accomplish long-term. So the idea of bringing some of these young guys along and helping them to be able to be part of the core going forward, that means they need to play together. All those guys need to play together. So it’d be great to get some time with Steph and Klay later on in the year.”
Curry was equally upbeat.
“I love to play basketball,” he said. “I love having fun. I know Klay does, too. We’re like some caged animals right now, ready to get unleashed back to what we do. Selfishly speaking, it should be fun for both of us, just to play basketball.”
Curry is also hoping he can offer words of advice and encouragement for his younger teammates who are holding down the fort in the meantime. He admitted that he is struggling with being away from the group.
“My ankle surgery was way back in the day. It was over the summer, so it was a little easier to kind of cope,” he said. “Obviously, there’s action every day — watching games on TV every day is no fun. Obviously, I enjoy spending time with my family, but when you’re out there missing games, it’s always tough. I’m not good at just sitting down and resting, so I got to figure that out.”
Kerr said he is hoping to keep his star guard engaged as much as possible over the next few months.
“He doesn’t get too high or too low,” Kerr said. “More than anything, I know he’s bored. He wants to be a part of things. Wants to be out on the court. He’s just gotta be patient. Get healthy. Once he’s healthy and ready to roll, he’ll be out there.”
Although the two-time MVP wishes he could be on the floor with the rest of his teammates, Curry is hopeful that he can use the time away to give the rest of his body a break after five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals the past five seasons.
“Kind of treating it like a mini-offseason, where you have three months to work on your body,” Curry said. “Obviously, get some rest, but build a new foundation for what type of player I want to be coming back from this injury and hopefully not missing a beat in terms of my rhythm.”
On a brighter note, Curry smiled when he remembered that Monday marked 10 years to the day since he sent out this memorable tweet.
Promise to all the Warrior fans…we will figure this thing out…if it’s the last thing we do we will figure it out
“Best tweet ever,” he said with a smile. “I don’t remember where I was. I definitely remember sending it out, though.”
As he looked back on the 10 years since, Curry reminisced on all the success the Warriors have had.
“It’s been a great, great journey,” he said. “It’s not over yet — that’s the fun part. But 10 years is kind of a good lens to look back and see all that we’ve accomplished. … I didn’t really know what I was talking about as a rookie, but I had a lot of confidence in myself and what I could do on this level and obviously the guys that I eventually got to play with to do it at that high level. So unbelievable experiences. Hopefully, there’s more to come.”