Stephen Curry injury update: Warriors star will not make return on Sunday, target date set for later in March

Stephen Curry has been out since October after breaking the second metacarpal in his left hand in an early-season game against the Phoenix Suns. He insisted all season long that he planned to return, and earlier this week it seemed we finally had a date with an expected season debut of March 1 against the Washington Wizards. Now, though, that date will be moved further down the line. 

Curry was set to meet with Steve Kerr, Warriors general manager Bob Myers and the team’s training staff on Friday in order to establish a plan for Curry’s return to action, per ESPN. The organization was hopeful that Curry would indeed be able to return on Sunday against the Wizards, but as of Saturday afternoon, the team announced that his return date would be later in March.

While the team said that Curry’s been making solid progress toward making his season debut, and he’s participating fully in scrimmages, the franchise reportedly wants him to have more practice time under his belt before he returns to the court, per The Athletic‘s Shams Charania. In a statement released by the team, the All-Star guard is set to practice with the Warriors’ G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, on Monday with a return date still undetermined. 

This uncertainty on Curry’s return date shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as Kerr told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t believe Curry had done enough scrimmaging and said the official return date is still up in the air. 

“He’s only scrimmaged twice,” Kerr said. “In fact, I think he needs more. We’ll see how it all plays out. … Nothing’s official. He’ll play when he’s ready.”

“That (Sunday return) date has been something that’s for sure on Steph’s mind,” Kerr continued. “That’s when he wants to play, and he will when we all feel he’s ready to go. I think he needs some more scrimmage time. We don’t have much of an opportunity to do that given all of the games.”

Golden State’s season, which was already on thin ice even with a healthy Curry, was fully derailed after his injury. At 12-47, the Warriors have the NBA’s worst record by five games and are a virtual lock for pole position in May’s NBA Draft Lottery. Even a player as transcendent as Curry is unlikely to change that so late in the season, so the goal, for now, appears to be getting him reps in order to prepare for a return to contention next season.

The team Curry is joining is quite different from the one he played with early in the season. A number of the players Curry played with before getting hurt, including D’Angelo Russell, Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks and Jacob Evans have been traded. Russell’s move, in particular, was the most important, bringing in former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to serve as a running mate for Curry moving forward. His integration into Golden State’s system has so far been an unbridled success. He is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from behind the arc while averaging 19.8 points per game as a Warrior, but fitting in alongside Curry will be his next test. 

Next season, the Warriors hope to return to championship contention with a healthy Curry and Klay Thompson joining Wiggins and Draymond Green on a revamped roster. As LeBron James has proven this season, a year off after an extended streak of Finals appearances can do quite a bit of good, but rest is no substitute for health. The Warriors need Curry back at full strength if they hope to re-enter the championship picture, and Sunday’s return will be a major step in getting him there. 

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