Steph Curry participates in Warriors 5-on-5 practice, takes biggest step yet

Steph takes biggest rehab step yet since injuring left shoulder originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay area

SAN FRANCISCO — Steph Curry participated in full Warriors practice Friday at Chase Center for the first time since sustaining a left shoulder subluxation against the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 14. Curry went through 5-on-5 and dealt with contact from his teammates, something he hasn’t been able to do in the past three-plus weeks.

The Warriors superstar was relieved to be that much closer to his return.

“It was nice to break a sweat,” Curry said. “Feel the speed of the game again, the physicality of it and get yourself into situations that you can test everything that you need to be able to be ready for an actual game.”

As Golden State wrapped up practice with individual drills, Curry was getting shots up with Warriors assistant Bruce Fraser on his own court. Everything looked the same. Curry was splashing 3-pointers and working on floaters around the basket.

There was one change though. Curry was sporting a white sleeve around his left arm and shoulder, for both aesthetic and practical reasons. That likely will be his look at him when he’s back on the floor for the Warriors. He also sported blue TP tape and doing a handful of strengthening workouts and exercises that will continue throughout the season to keep his shoulder as strong as possible.

Prior to his injury, Curry was on a tear. At 34 years old, he quite literally was putting up similar or better statistics that his unanimous MVP season from the 2015-16 season. Over his first 26 games of the season, including the 38 he scored in under 30 minutes against the Pacers, Curry was averaging 30.0 points, 6.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game while also shooting 50 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from deep and 91.9 percent on free throws.

“I feel like I haven’t lost too much, in terms of conditioning or just understanding 5-on-5 so hopefully the transition will be pretty smooth once I get back out there.”

What also was encouraging was watching Curry get shots up with his injured left arm. He quite literally was able to swish shots left-handed from the free throw line, and was doing so around the hoop as well.

Was there any pain in doing so? No, though the feeling isn’t fully the same as before the injury.

“No setbacks,” Curry said. “Feels different, but manageable and something that when you’re out there on the floor — with any injury you just want to be in position where even if you do feel a little bit of discomfort or an awareness of whatever it is that you don’t think about it during the game.You just react, move how you need to, take shots you to, go both directions, use both arms as you need to.

“Once I get to that point, whether it’s not feeling anything or not, it’s just a matter of if you can do it. Be confident in whatever it is, and I’ll get there.”

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game that the Warriors have a target date for Curry’s first game back to be Jan. 13 in San Antonio against the Spurs, which kicks off a five-game road trip for Golden State. Coach Steve Kerr later that day seemed to be in sync with Myers’ assessment.

That still is the plan, though Curry wouldn’t give an exact date. He’s sticking with the script and seeing how his body reacts on a daily basis.

Friday was the biggest step yet.

“The whole plan has been to be ready when I’m ready,” Curry said. “With this one, it’s kind of just about getting through as much of the testing phase of it as possible. If I can get a few more reps and keep moving in that direction, I’ll be ready when I’m ready.

“So, whenever that is.”

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Curry’s progress wasn’t the only positive injury news of the day for the Warriors, too.

While Andre Iguodala announced on his podcast, “Point Forward,” that he’ll be making his highly-anticipated season debut Saturday against the Orlando Magic, the Warriors also could have Andrew Wiggins as well. Curry missed the Warriors’ last 10 games with his shoulder injury. Wiggins has been out even longer.

First he dealt with a right adductor strain that kept the Warriors cautious. Then, two separate illnesses forced him out even longer. Wiggins has missed the last 15 games.

He is now officially listed as probable against the Magic after practicing Friday.

“Wiggs practiced fully today and there’s a chance he could play tomorrow,” Kerr said.

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