Reigning MVP Stephen Curry’s MRI on his right knee came back negative.
Assuming that there are no setbacks in his recovery, this places his estimated return sometime towards the middle or end of the semifinals, assuming that the Warriors can get past the Houston Rocket without him. They’re up 3-1 in that series.
If the Warriors advance to the next round, they’d play the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers/Portland Trail Blazers series. The Clippers are ahead 2-1 in that series, and to what extent their battle prolongs can play a huge role in how many games Curry ultimately misses.
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The 2 week re-evaluation for Curry falls on May 9. If the Clippers/Trail Blazers series goes to 7 games, that series officially ends on May 1, which is the latest possible day the quarterfinals can last until.
Presuming that the semifinals would start a couple days later, game 1 of that series would be scheduled sometime around May 3. Game 2 would be May 5, and with an extra travel day penciled in, game 3 would be May 8.
The earliest possible scenario for Curry to return would be for game 4 of the semifinals. MCL sprains of this nature can sometimes takes as much as 4 weeks to heal. May 23 is 4 weeks from today. That would mean that Curry could possibly end up missing the very beginning of the Western Conference Finals should the Warriors get to that point.
There are a lot of variables with these scenarios. The first round of these playoffs could end as early as April 28. If every possible situation goes wrong for Curry and the Warriors, he could be out until the middle of the WCF. Best case he returns middle of the semifinals, worst case middle of the conference finals.
Although this development improves the San Antonio Spurs’ championship odds, an injury like this to any player is heartbreaking. The Spurs surely wish Curry a speedy recovery, because the spirit of competition is grounded in wanting to beat the opponent at their absolute highest level.
The Warriors without Curry would be at a severe disadvantage, and the Spurs want the Warriors at their best. They aren’t afraid of what that series would bring. To anyone who’s a fan of the game, root for Curry to be back as quickly as possible, because with the game missing one of its shining stars, everyone loses.