LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Golden State guard Stephen Curry says he is “very optimistic” he could return from a foot injury in time for the Warriors’ NBA playoff opener against Denver on Saturday.
Curry, sidelined almost a month with a sprained ligament in his left foot, said on teammate Draymond Green’s podcast that he did not want to miss a minute of the Warriors’ return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
“The goal has always been game one, the goal still remains game one,” Curry said.
“Very optimistic that it’ll be game one.
“And we know what time of year it is. We haven’t been in the playoffs for two years, it is kind of weird to think about that. I’m so freaking juiced because I know how much I love that environment. I don’t want to miss any of it.”
Curry took part in the Warriors’ first playoff practice on Wednesday, when he said he was feeling “pretty good” after drills, shooting and skills work.
Teammate Gary Payton II said the eight-time All-Star and the Warriors’ leading scorer “looked like Steph” in practice.
Curry finished the regular season with averages of 25.5 points, 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds over 64 games.
“We know what he brings, what he does on the court and how he helps out and how he makes things difficult for other teams and easier for us,” Payton said. “So we’re just sticking to the game plan.”
The Warriors went 1-6 without Curry from March 20-30, but closed the season on a five-game winning streak to grab the third seed in the Western Conference.
The Warriors face a searching first-round test against a Nuggets team led by Nikola Jokic, who is in the race for a second straight NBA Most Valuable Player award.
The Serbian star finished the season averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.