It is remarkable how innocent the injuries that Wardell Stephen Curry has sustained over the past two months have appeared at the moment of impact. Much like the shoulder subluxation that Curry suffered in mid-December against the Indiana Pacers, a collision last night with the Dallas Mavericks' McKinley Wright IV late in the third quarter didn't have a bone-shattering, I-can't-bear-to-watch-the-replay look.
Steph was limping immediately after impact, but it looked like — given my vast medical expertise — one of those things that he might just walk/shake off in a few minutes. But when the game came back from commercial, Curry was on the bench, and then we saw him on the dreaded tunnel cam limping badly back to the locker room.
After watching a few slow-motion replays of the crash with McKinley Wright, however, the two players appeared to knock knees, and you can see Steph's leg sort of buckle. It was more cringe-worthy than I had realized.
According to Golden State Warriors' tweet, Steph had an MRI last night which showed that he partially tore his superior tibiofibular ligaments and interosseous membrane, in addition to incurring a lower leg contusion. According to CBS, Sunday's MRI showed that Curry "avoided serious structural damage in his lower left knee."
Even with my vast medical knowledge, I'm not able to make heads or tails of the various reports, other than to say that Steph is expected to miss "multiple weeks" (according to the Athletic), and will (almost) certainly miss the NBA All Star Game on February 19, where he is a starter and the defending MVP.
Stephen Curry is often called one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA, and much has been made about how much muscle he's built over his 14 seasons in the league. One easily forgets how brutally physical basketball can be, and how innocent-looking moments can cause havoc on the body and lead to a player's absence from the lineup for weeks. (Bay Area sport's fans are surely reeling from the many untimely injuries that have plagued their teams of late.)
What Curry's absence might mean for the Warriors is anyone's guess, other than to say that the Dubs are once again down their best player. When Curry was out with his shoulder injury in December and early January, Golden State played pretty well, especially at home,
Last night, the Dubs beat Mavericks — who were without Luka Dončić (heel injury) — 119-113. Last week, the Warriors went 1-2 on a short road trip through Oklahoma City (win), Minnesota (heartbreaking loss) and Denver (loss). In this odd, championship-defending, one-step-forward, two-steps-back kind of a season, Golden State is now 27-26 and 10 games out of first place in the Western Conference.
"This is a vital stretch for the Warriors with a pivotal date on the NBA calendar next week," the Athletic reported. "The Warriors are weighing whether to make roster changes at the trade deadline."
Top Image: It's back to plain-clothes Steph Curry for at least a little while, but he's still lots of fun to watch on the sidelines. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images