Stephen Curry exits Warriors win after suffering left MCL sprain

ByChris Haynes ESPN logo
Saturday, March 24, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. -- In his first game back since missing six contests because of a right ankle injury, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curryleft late in the third quarter of Friday night's 106-94 winover the Atlanta Hawksbecause of a knee injury and did not return.

The Warriors said Curry suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee and would undergo an MRI on Saturday.

The incident occurred when teammateJaVale McGee elevated for a block attempt and ended up falling on the left leg of Curry. The two-time NBA MVP immediately began hopping and then limping in pain.

"I was just trying to block a shot and I ran into him,"McGee said.

Curry did not address the media. Hours after the game, he emerged from the locker room with his wife, Ayesha, by his side. All the other players were long gone. He was walking with a slight limp but appeared to be in good spirits. He told ESPN in comical fashion, "I'm good. Well, at least it's not my ankle."

His disposition was a drastic shift from when the incident first occurred.

Soon after McGee collided with Curry's knee, Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who pulled Curry from the game promptly, said he initially assumed the injury was to Curry's ankle when he saw him limping.

"We'll see what the MRI says tomorrow," Kerr said. "There's not a lot we can do or predict. Kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate, you know. He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks, gets that strong, and then the knee goes. So we'll see what happens. Keep our fingers crossed."

The Warriors' head performance therapist, Chelsea Lane, checked on Curry while on the bench as he sat in clear frustration following the injury. Moments later, Curry went to the locker room, but he was struggling to do so.

He played 25 minutes and scored 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

It also was the first game he had worn low-top shoes. Curry normally wears a mid- or high-top shoe as well as braces during competition because of his history with ankle injuries.

Asked what he makes of Curry's spate of injuries this season, Kerr threw up his hands and said they seemed random.

McGee also took to Twitter to express his frustration.

The Warriors are hobbling as they approach the postseason. Klay Thompson (hand fracture), Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) and Kevin Durant (rib contusion) are all sidelined.

Before exiting Oracle Arena, Durant spoke to ESPN about the state of the team's health.

"S--- ain't perfect when you're living life," Durant said. "There's going to be ebbs and flows. I know since this whole Warriors [dynasty] started, it's been pretty nice. There's nothing to worry about. We're all living life good. We're playing in the NBA. We got a couple ankle tweaks, we got a few rib injuries, a couple of guys got kicked in the groin, a little fractured thumb. Nobody is dealing with anything life-threatening."

Durant said he spoke to Curry but didn't go into details of the conversation. The 6-foot-11 forward did not appear to be overly concerned about the severity of Curry's latest injury.

"Obviously, you don't know," Durant said. "Once you get the diagnosis and you figure out the timetable and what could happen. ... We don't know what's going on. You just want to get some information, but it's all good, man.

"Steph is going to work his tail off to get back no matter what it is, and we're all going to support him and we're going to be there for him. We're going to hold this s--- down."

ESPN spoke to multiple Golden State players about the string of injuries and each did not feel as if they were in a dire situation.

"I think it's day to day," guard Nick Youngsaid. "I think it just takes time. I'll be needing [Curry] postseason. I told him, 'Man, I didn't come here for you to get hurt. So you need to get right so we can throw some champagne around a little bit.'"

Kerr shared his insights.

"Everybody feels for Steph," the coach said. "But it's more a case of you gotta keep going, keep pushing forward."

Despite the injury, Curry was in "good spirits," Kerr said.

"I talked to him," Kerr said. "He's disappointed, but that's part of it. You just keep pushing and see how it goes tomorrow."

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