The Story: Steph Curry is out for Golden State’s game Wednesday against the Clippers after sustaining a right-ankle sprain. The injury appeared to occur at a morning shootaround ahead of the game.
The Importance: The Warriors will most likely survive without Curry (and Klay Thompson, who will also sit because of “rest”) at home Wednesday, especially with Kevin Durant back in the lineup after missing the past three games. More worrisome is the rest of the season. This is the same ankle that Curry sprained December 4, sidelining him for an 11-game stretch. It’s also the same ankle that proved problematic early in his career.
The Takeaway: Though Golden State safely escaped Curry’s December absence with a 9–2 record, the team does have a challenging schedule ahead. It faces Milwaukee, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago (the best team in December, folks!), and Houston on the road, before finally heading back home and playing New York, Minnesota, and Boston.
There is no confirmation yet on how long the two-time MVP will be out, though it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that Durant, Thompson, and Draymond Green can manage January, if necessary, without him. Golden State, now an NBA-best 33–8, also has a four-game cushion in the Western Conference standings.
But Curry’s second ankle injury in a little more than a month puts his health on the franchise’s radar, especially ahead of what could very well be the Warriors’ fourth consecutive Finals. His durability since having ankle surgery in 2012 doesn’t erase what came before that: a reputation as fragile and an automatic worry for every funny landing.