OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry wanted nothing more than to play on his milestone 30th birthday, a home game against the Lakers on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).
The two-time MVP is doing his best to see the big picture, though. The playoffs are a month away and he plans to be in top form to lead another special Golden State run.
“I’ve been through this countless times but I feel very confident in the approach that we’re taking to get to as close to 100 percent as possible going into the stretch run of the regular season and then obviously the playoffs,” Curry said after his team’s shootaround Wednesday.
“I would obviously love to be out there playing every game down the stretch, to be out there with my squad. At this point there’s enough time, not just me, we have a bunch of guys banged up, that we all can prioritize health and understand that we need to all be ready to go.”
Curry will miss at least the next four games for the ailing defending champions as he heals from his latest right ankle injury, while Splash Brother Klay Thompson also will miss those games. The Warriors announced on Tuesday’s injury report that Thompson has a fractured right thumb that will sideline him until he is re-evaluated March 22.
After Wednesday’s matchup with Los Angeles, they also will miss Friday at home against the Kings, then road games at Phoenix on Saturday and at San Antonio on Monday. Golden State is 11-6 this season without Curry, who missed an 11-game stretch with the ankle in December then injured it again March 2 at Atlanta but was able to play.
Draymond Green was also out Wednesday with soreness in his right shoulder. Backup center David West was sidelined for a fifth consecutive game with a cyst in his right arm. Rookie Chris Boucher was called up from the G League Warriors for his possible NBA debut.
It was still hard for Curry to think about missing Wednesday’s game.
“Selfishly I was always keying in on tonight just because it was a big day,” Curry said. “You only turn 30 once. I have to keep a big-picture perspective. I understand the thought process around not just how my ankle feels today versus next Wednesday versus next Friday but the things that I need to do rehab-wise to strengthen my core, everything that protects your ankle so that when I do come back I’m ready. Obviously there’s risk playing. The reason I hurt my ankle, I landed on somebody’s foot twice. You can’t help that. I’ve got to do whatever I can to lower the probability of putting myself in that situation again, especially at this point in the season.”
Curry rolled his ankle driving left for a layup at the 9:38 mark of the first quarter in the win against the Spurs. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated next Tuesday.
Golden State did not practice Tuesday as originally planned after the team held an early surprise birthday celebration Monday for Curry, whose wife Ayesha was involved. The couple arrived into San Francisco for the bash — 200-plus people, according to the man of the hour — on a yacht. Coach Steve Kerr was seen dancing on stage with his players in social media videos from the festivities.
“I’m really nosy, too, so the fact that they still were able to execute it is pretty remarkable,” Curry said. “I’m definitely thankful for that, all that love.”