The Warriors’ Stephen Curry participated in a scrimmage on Saturday for the first time since suffering a broken hand last fall.
The Golden State guard has been cleared for contact and continues to aim for a return to gameplay on March 1. Curry has been sidelined since breaking his left hand in a collision with the Suns’ Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.
“It feels good,” Curry said after Saturday’s practice. “It’s been a long three and a half plus months, whatever it is. Just trying to understand all the different checkpoints I had to try and get through to get to this point and then what’s left, but this is the fun part I guess where you get to actually play basketball and worry about what happens in between the lines and not so much the specific rehab parts. It’s nice to get out there with my guys and play and keep moving forward.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not guarantee March 1 as Curry’s return date, stating that he will “see how the coming week goes” in practice. Curry added that the date has been his goal.
“It’s always been March 1,” Curry said. “But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you’re building towards. Like I’ve always said, I haven’t had any setbacks along the way, this has been a very long, strenuous rehab process, and it’s something I haven’t been through before so it’s nice that I’m getting that type of response with every new challenge that I kind of go after.”
Curry said that he is still getting used to the “new normal” of how his left hand feels. He had two surgeries and also dealt with nerve damage.
“It definitely feels different than the right [hand],” Curry said. “But you can try to get to a point when you’re actually playing basketball, you don’t think about it. Whether it feels all the way the same or not, it really doesn’t matter. As long as I’m not worried about the things that I’m trying to do, the strength part of it. And how it bounces back the next day after pushing it, whether it’s contact stuff or all that, you have to pay attention to all that type of stuff … it is going to feel different.”
The Warriors have the worst record in the league, 12-44, entering Saturday night, so Curry’s return to the floor for even just a scrimmage was promising for his team.
“I think everybody’s excited,” Kerr said. “He got an ovation today when I told the group he was going to scrimmage with us. Everybody was excited. It will be good for our young guys to feel what it’s like to play with him and vice versa. Steph needs to get to know these guys, too … it’s a big part of the final third of the season is everybody playing together, acclimating together, with the trade for Andrew [Wiggins]the young guys, Steph coming back, these games matter.”
Curry said he is excited to get back on the court, no matter how it affects the team’s draft lottery odds. Kerr has also mentioned that Curry’s return has “never been a question.”
“I’m gonna do what’s right for me,” Curry said. “And that’s about it.”
In four games played before injuring his hand, Curry averaged 20.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists.