Steph just happy to avoid surgery on shoulder
PHILADELPHIA — Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry says he was relieved when surgery was taken off the table as a possible course of action for his left shoulder injury.
“One hundred percent,” Curry said after the Warriors’ shootaround Friday morning. “That changed the whole dynamic of the conversation, both personally and as a team.
“There’s kind of two or three different outcomes, and then it was just a matter of making sure I didn’t need surgery and [that] my shoulder will be able to heal on its own, however long that took. Because I know the surgeries are 4 to 6 months [recovery time],” Curry added with a smile, “and nobody wants to be dealing with that right now.”
Curry suffered a left shoulder subluxation during Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Warriors star will miss “a few weeks.”
Curry said he hopes that the fact this is the first time he has suffered a shoulder injury will lead to a quicker recovery period than if this was a recurring problem.
“It’s hard to say, just because it’s the first time I’ve done it,” Curry said, when asked for a timeline for his return. “There’s a couple guys I’ve seen that had a little bit more severe cases, you know their timelines, you kind of do your guesswork.
“But just knowing this is the first time, you try to stay away from, me mentally, just trying to stay away from how long it’s going to be because [my shoulder] will let me know.”
One player who had a similar injury was Dwyane Wade, who missed 23 games with a dislocated shoulder in 2008. Beginning Friday, the Warriors have 20 games between now and Feb. 1.
Regardless of when Curry returns, the Warriors (14-15) have plenty of work to do. Golden State’s starting five — Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney — is the second-most-used starting lineup in the NBA this season and is outscoring opponents by 23 points per 100 possessions. Curry, who said he has been in the best shape of his life over the past couple of seasons, has been playing as well as at any point in his Hall of Fame career this season. He is averaging 30 points per game on 50% shooting — plus 43.4% from 3-point range on 11.6 attempts — to go along with 6.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds.
But virtually any other combination has struggled for the Warriors, who are 2-13 on the road and are getting little to no production from their bench. So when Curry was asked if the goal for the Warriors was to remain around .500 while he was out, he set a much lower initial bar for success.
“That’s always kind of a good sound bite, just because it gives you something to key on,” Curry said before smiling and adding, “But I think where we’re at, we just want to win a road game and take it from there.”
Their quest to do that will begin in Philadelphia on Friday night before going to Toronto, New York and Brooklyn to wrap up a six-game road trip they have started 0-2 on.
They will have to try to win Friday without three starters. Along with Curry being out, Green will not play due to a right quad contusion and Wiggins remains out with an adductor strain.
In the meantime, Curry said he hopes that his teammates can begin to show the kind of consistency they need to for the Warriors to potentially defend their championship. Curry added that no one in the Western Conference has really broken away from the pack, which gives the Warriors confidence they can get themselves right.
But, Curry said, it’s time to start doing that — even if it’s while he is sitting and watching.
“This is a very important stretch because you want to maintain as much positivity and belief in what we’re doing as possible and give ourselves a chance to finish the year strong,” Curry said. “Looking at that All-Star break, that sprint to the finish knowing that no team in the West has really separated themselves. So we can talk ourselves into ‘We’re still in good shape.’ But you still have to go out and be a consistent basketball team, and I think we can do that.”
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