Warriors guard Stephen Curry will remain out Thursday at the Toronto Raptors as he continues to recover from a strained left groin, but Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said Curry will play Saturday night at the Detroit Pistons.
Curry, who has been out since Nov. 8 after injuring his groin in a home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, returned to practice earlier this week. Kerr said Rick Celebrini, the Warriors director of sports medicine and performance, advocated giving Curry two more days of rest.
“Steph is not going to play [Thursday],” Kerr said after Wednesday’s practice. “He wants to play. He’s ready to play. And we’re just going to be extra cautious. Rick felt very strongly, based on his years of experience doing this stuff, that it made sense to be extra careful, and he’s going to wait. He will play in Detroit.”
Curry spent several minutes after Wednesday’s practice discussing his situation with Kerr and Celebrini. He was hoping to play in Thursday night’s showdown against the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors, but Kerr and his staff are taking a guarded approach.
Kerr said if it were a playoff game, Curry would definitely be on the floor Thursday; but because it’s still November, the Warriors are going to wait a couple of more days.
“He’s dying to play,” Kerr said. “He loves playing in Toronto. He’s got great memories of being here when [his father] Dell was playing with the Raptors. He’s dying to play, but we rely heavily on Rick. Rick is really good at his job. He knows what he’s talking about. And he thinks it makes a lot of sense to wait to give him two more days to be extra cautious, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Curry admitted being disappointed by the decision but said he understands why it was made.
“We obviously have a lot of smart people that are taking care of us and trying to make sure we’re protected from ourselves in certain situations,” Curry said. “Obviously, it’s been three weeks or so, so I’m itching to get back. I’m obviously excited that the end is near. I love coming to Toronto, so it’s a little disappointing.”
Curry, who has started to ramp up his work in practice over the past few days, said he started feeling on Monday that he could be back on the floor, but he said he sees where Kerr and Celebrini are coming from.
“When I feel like I’m ready to play, that’s when the conversations start,” Curry said. “It’s just a matter of their assessment and understanding the process of getting back to 100 percent, and hopefully making sure that when you step back on the floor, that’s the only thing that you’re worried about and not playing that back-and-forth game.”
Green has been out for more than a week because of a toe injury, and Kerr said he expects him to miss at least a couple of more games.
“Draymond will not play [Thursday],” Kerr said. “I think the earliest would be later on in this trip. He’s not playing in these first couple of games on the trip. He still needs to get on the floor. I think he’ll start doing that on Friday where he can start to ramp up the court work. Then he’ll need a few days from there. At that point, it will be sort of day-to-day and we’ll leave it up to Rick.”
The good news for Golden State is that Curry will be back on the floor Saturday. The group comes into Thursday’s game having won three straight, but the Warriors know Curry will provide stability on and off the floor that they have missed in his absence.
“You feel like you know how your body feels and then you wake up and get excited thinking maybe you’re a little further along than you maybe are,” Curry said. “But in terms of the rehab process and that type of stuff, it’s more so I just love playing basketball and you want to get back out there as soon as possible. When you get that close, every game that you have to wait, it’s tough.”