By JANIE McCAULEY
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry will miss at least three months for the ailing Warriors because of a broken left hand that required surgery, the toughest blow yet early in an already difficult season for struggling Golden State following five straight trips to the NBA Finals.
Now, both Splash Brothers are on the sidelines, leaving Golden State thin in the backcourt while facing a 1-3 record and just trying to stay in games. Klay Thompson is recovering from surgery July 2 for a torn ACL in his left knee that he injured June 13 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that won Toronto its first championship.
Before Friday night’s game against San Antonio, Warriors coach Steve Kerr acknowledged his team’s incredible injury misfortune, dating back to the Finals last spring when star forward Kevin Durant was lost to a ruptured Achilles tendon shortly before Thompson went down.
However, Kerr also stressed he didn’t want his players dwelling on the negative with so much season still ahead.
“It’s just insane what’s happened,” Kerr said. “But we’ve had a lot of good fortune here too over the years. So we don’t spend too much time thinking about what it all means. We just push forward and try to do our jobs.”
Curry underwent surgery Friday on the hand and second metacarpal of his index finger, and the team said he will miss at least three months but is expected to make a full recovery.
The Warriors announced Curry had undergone surgery Friday morning performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. An update on his progress is planned after three months, which would be early February. If he makes that timeline or close to it that would give Curry about 30 games remaining in the regular season.
He has indicated he wants to play for the U.S. team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so Curry likely would prefer to play games before that.
Specialists examined a CT scan Curry had Thursday, a day after the two-time MVP broke his non-shooting hand in the third quarter of a 121-110 home loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Kerr had planned to spend Thursday meeting with his coaching staff to prepare for how to move forward playing another man down.
He referenced Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who Kerr played under during his own career, as a leader who knew how to put seemingly disastrous situations into perspective for his players.
In his own pregame media session Friday, Popovich was asked about the coaching challenge facing Kerr in light of Curry’s injury, and Popovich predicted his former player wouldn’t coach the Warriors any differently.
“It’s not like he flips the script and teaches them something different,” the Spurs coach said. “Same fundamentals on both ends of the court. Whoever’s here next year will benefit from the teaching and competitiveness this year.
“They won’t miss a beat. They’ll just go on. Chances are they won’t be in the Finals, but that’s not the point.”
The Warriors, who follow Friday’s game by hosting Charlotte on Saturday, are also missing forward Kevon Looney.
He went into the weekend having missed four straight games because of a right hamstring injury and is scheduled to be evaluated early next week by a team of specialists because of an “on-going presence of a neuropathic condition in his body, which has a direct correlation to his recent injury.”
Looney is limited to controlled workouts with the training staff for now.
Curry was injured while driving to his left while defended by Kelly Oubre Jr. and with big man Aron Baynes standing in the paint. Curry leapt with the ball then came down head first, landing awkwardly on his hands as he tried to brace himself. Baynes then landed on Curry’s left hand.
The 31-year-old Curry grimaced in pain, grabbing at his fingers then walking to the locker room.
AP Freelance Writer Joe Stiglich contributed to this report.