Can Curry Return in Time to Save the Warriors Season?

Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry is expected to miss a few weeks, but his timeline remains unclear after he suffered partial tears in his superior tibiofibular ligaments and interosseous membrane, as well as a contusion in his lower leg.

The injury occurred during the third quarter of Saturday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks. Curry was defending the paint as Mavs PG McKinley Wright drove in. Curry attempted to cut off Wright’s dribble by stepping in front of him, but Wright’s knee made contact with the outside of Curry’s left leg. It didn’t look bad in the moment, but Curry limped off the court with the help of medical staff. He was ruled out shortly after.

X -rays came back negative, and the good news is that Curry has avoided severe structural damage. However, the injuries he’s dealing with can be tricky to come back from because there are a lot of factors that come into play.

The superior tibiofibular ligament connects the tibia (shin bone) and fibula (calf bone). It provides stability and helps prevent excessive rotation between the two bones.

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The interosseous membrane is a strong, fibrous sheet that sits between the tibia and fibula. It helps to stabilize the bones and transfer forces between them during weight-bearing activities. Additionally, the interosseous membrane helps to maintain the alignment of the bones and prevent excessive movement between them.

Because of the function of these ligaments, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Curry returns before April, though a late-March return is technically possible. Our algorithm predicts he is 54 days away from Optimal Recovery, which would place his return on April 2. On top of that, his Injury Risk is High (61%) and his Health Performance Factor is Poor (4%). Those numbers will get better slowly.

The recovery process will involve immobilization of the affected leg to allow the ligaments and membrane to heal, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain strength and stability in the leg. The therapy will likely include exercises to increase range of motion, flexibility, and strength in the leg, as well as basketball-specific drills and conditioning.

No matter what, his health needs to come first. The regular season ends on April 9, meaning if the Warriors fall out of the playoff race, the team could decide to bench Curry for the rest of the year.

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