Stephen Curry has cleared another hurdle in his quest to return to action March 1, relays Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Team doctors cleared Curry for full contact and he participated in his first scrimmage today since breaking his left hand in late October.
Speaking with reporters afterward, the Warriors guard confirmed that he has set next Sunday as his target date to return to action. Although he will need another positive week of rehab to make that happen, all indications are that the healing process is nearly complete.
Curry explained the details of the injury, which involved nerve damage in addition to the break. That’s why his recovery time will be about four months, rather than the usual two when a clean break happens.
“This was a serious one that had a lot of nuances to it with the two surgeries and the nerve damage and stuff I’m still dealing with,” he said. “Everything is new. If it was an ankle thing, I’d tell you everything every step of the way.”
Curry also shared his memories of the play, which happened when Suns center Aron Baynes tried to take a charge on a drive to the basket. Both players fell to the court and Baynes landed directly on top of Curry’s hand, causing the damage. Because Curry is right-handed, the injury shouldn’t affect his shooting, but Slater notes that much of his game is based on the ability to dribble, pass and make layups with either hand.
“I’m getting used to what the new normal is,” Curry said of the recovery process. “It definitely feels different than the right (hand). But you try to get to the point when you’re playing basketball, you don’t think about it — whether it feels all the way same or not, it doesn’t really matter, as long as I’m not worried about the things I’m trying to do, the strength part of it and how it bounces back the next day after pushing it in contact stuff. … Anybody who has had surgery knows it takes a long time to get back to true normal. Functionally speaking, where I’m not out there on the court thinking about it, that’s where I’m trying to get it to.”
With Klay Thompson already sidelined with a torn ACL, Curry’s injury eliminated any chance the Warriors may have had to reach the playoffs. Golden State is focused on returning to title contention next season, and Curry believes the team added an important piece in the deadline deal that brought Andrew Wiggins from the Timberwolves.
“I’ve been watching and seeing what he’s capable of on a nightly basis,” Curry said. “He’s a walking 20 points. The intangibles he can bring, in terms of speed, cutting, length on defense, all those things, will be a fun process to build that chemistry. This is a 15-month journey to spring next year.”