By Ben Ross
Special to S.F. Examiner
CHASE CENTER – Stephen Curry may be down, but he’s not out.
The Warriors star fully expects to return at some point this season after breaking his left hand in late October.
“I definitely expect to be ready to play,” Curry said Monday night. “I don’t know when, but at some point in early spring. It’s just a matter of the rehab process. … I’m excited about the potential that the rest of the season isn’t lost.”
Curry wore a splint on his left hand as he addressed the media for the first time since his injury. The 31-year-old has missed seven games since undergoing surgery earlier this month and is expected to be reevaluated in February. He will have a second procedure in early December to remove some of the pins from his hand.
Curry suffered the injury on Oct. 30 against the Phoenix Suns when he collided with center Aron Baynes and landed awkwardly on his hand.
“I’ve seen the play plenty of times,” Curry said. “You kind of have that situation happen a lot where somebody’s trying to take a charge and you land. I’ve been in that situation plenty of times and nothing’s happened. It’s just the timing of the fall and when I landed, it just didn’t go my way.”
Curry says he knew right away that he was dealing with a season-altering injury.
“It hurt and I knew when I couldn’t really move my fingers that it was something serious,” he said. “Sometimes you go in denial mode where you’re trying to shake it off, but I went to the bench and kind of looked at it for a second and it didn’t look right. I knew right away at that point that it was broken.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says that he and Curry haven’t had a chance to speak much since the injury, but he knows that the two-time MVP will be smart about his recovery. He will return at the end of the season, he said, to get used to some of the rotations with the younger players, and to help build chemistry for next season, when he, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will all be healthy, along with Willie Cauley-Stein (who has a player option) and D’Angelo Russel, plus a possible top-five draft pick.
“You know Steph — he’s very practical,” Kerr saild. “He doesn’t get too high or too low. More than anything, I know he’s bored. I know he wants to be part of things. He wants to be out on the court, but he’s just got to be patient and get healthy. Once he’s healthy and ready to roll, he’ll be back out there.”
For now, Curry is trying to stay busy without basketball. He says he will treat the next three months like a “mini offseason” and hopes to come back better than ever.
“I love to play basketball,” Curry said. “I love having fun. I know Klay does too. We’re like some caged animals right now, ready to get unleashed back to what we do.”