Andre Iguodala had a target date in mind to return from a right hamstring injury. The Warriors have a different one.
“We’re in the same chapter,” Iguodala said after sitting out Thursday’s practice. “Not on the same page.”
Iguodala is expected to miss his 11th straight game when the Warriors host the Houston Rockets tonight. He said he hopes to come back “really soon” but will leave the decision up to team trainers.
“We’ve had some disagreements because some days you feel really good, but your body can trick yourself into thinking you feel all right but it’s not really there,” Iguodala said. “I guess the good thing is our strength and conditioning guy, he tore his hamstring this summer. He came back four times and tore it four times again. I guess I could listen to him because he’s been through it.”
Iguodala, who was injured in a loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 22 when he made a sharp cut, said he is shooting the ball well and jumping high. He hasn’t tried to change directions or stop and start again — the true tests of whether he can play.
Iguodala’s impatience has only grown watching the Warriors’ inconsistent play. Golden State (13-10) is 5-5 since he sustained what the team has called a strained hamstring, needing to rally from deficits of 27 and 18 points to win its last two home games over Toronto and Dallas, respectively.
The defense has declined dramatically without Iguodala, who typically guards the other team’s best player. The Warriors allowed 96.07 points per game before Iguodala’s injury and have given up 104.1 points since.
“He would definitely help us,” Warriors center Andrew Bogut said. “He’s a potential All-Star player, very good on-ball defender and a very unselfish player.”
With hopes of making a deep playoff run, Golden State understandably wants to protect its investment. Iguodala signed a four-year, $48 million deal to come to the Warriors from Denver as a free agent this summer and helped the team get off to an 8-3 start.
The drop in production is not all tied to Igudoala’s absence. The Warriors are down three big men — Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist), Festus Ezeli (right knee) and Ognjen Kuzmic (right hand) — and are getting little production from the second unit other than Draymond Green.
SURGERY FOR O’NEAL: Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal will have arthroscopic surgery today on the torn ligament in his right wrist. It is unclear when O’Neal will return. In 17 games, he is averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.6 minutes.
CURRY THIRD IN ALL-STAR VOTING: Warriors guard Stephen Curry is third among Western Conference guards in the first round of All-Star voting. Curry has 327,449 votes, trailing two Los Angeles superstars — Kobe Bryant of the Lakers (501,215) and Chris Paul of the Clippers (393,313).
In the frontcourt, Iguodala is ninth with 109,745 votes and David Lee 13th with 60,015. Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City (607,407), Dwight Howard of Houston (295,120) and Blake Griffin of the Clippers (292,925) hold down the top three frontcourt spots.
— Staff, wire report