Stephen Curry returned to the practice court Monday, and things actually went pretty well. Taking part in a round-the-horn 3-point shooting drill, the Warriors point guard contended he made 77 without missing two in a row, and at one point, swished home 12 straight from various points behind the arc.
Curry understands it all may be for naught, but he is hoping to get news from a Los Angeles foot specialist in the next few days that he won't have to be shut down for the season as a result of his oft-injured right ankle.
"I haven't thought about all the options, really," said Curry, who was wearing an ankle brace during his brief practice session. "Obviously, I'm trying to play as soon as possible. I want to get healthy, but I also want to play and finish the season strong, so we'll see if there's a reason I need to sit out the rest of the year. I'm hoping that's not the case."
Curry was examined by a foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Richard Ferkel, on Thursday in L.A. Ferkel is expected to return his evaluation and recommendation to the Warriors on Tuesday or Wednesday and then the club will meet with Curry to make a decision. General manager Larry Riley said Saturday that Curry won't play again until he is convinced that Curry is 100 percent, and that he might not play again this season.
Because he hasn't played or even practiced since he injured the ankle again March 11, Curry isn't sure where he is percentage-wise.
"It's hard to put a number on where I am now since I haven't been able to get on the court," Curry said. "Today shooting was the first time I've done that since I've been hurt. I didn't have any pain there. Hopefully I can get back to 100 percent. There's still five weeks left in the season, so hopefully it keeps getting better and better."
With the Warriors essentially out of the Western Conference playoff race, there's little benefit to trying to get Curry back on the court again, except for the mental well-being of the player himself. Curry said a return would be important to him if it's possible.
"If I get to 100 percent where I'm not at risk of doing the same thing again, it's more for me to go out there, get some reps and keep working on my game," he said. "It's obviously a long time until October when training camp starts back up, so that's a long time not to log minutes in an actual game."
Curry said he didn't get a good read on how Ferkel might advise the Warriors but did say he was encouraged by the exam.
"He didn't say 'surgery now,' so that was big," Curry said. "I had that same kind of situation after the season last year. I was going to Dr. (Mark) Myerson in Baltimore to get a second opinion on some rehab exercises that could make my ankle stronger, and he dropped the bomb that my ligaments were done and that surgery was necessary, and he told me that right on the spot. So it was good not to hear that this time."
Ferkel is evaluating images of Curry's ankle from throughout the season and also studying his full history with ankle issues.
"It was a good visit, and I think we've found the right game plan to get me back," Curry said. "I'm just trying to make the right decision. At this point, I've run my ankle into the ground trying to play on it injured. I have to keep the grand scheme of my career at the forefront and worry about that. So at this point, I'm just waiting to see what the next step is."
"Yeah, I got a few text messages from numbers that I've never seen before, but I guess that's how it is," Jenkins said. "But if we would have won, I'd be a lot happier."
Earning extended minutes at point guard the past two games with both Curry and Nate Robinson (hamstring strain) out, Jenkins is getting a chance to show the kind of offensive skills he delivered for Hofstra, where he averaged 19.6 points per game for his career and 22.6 as a senior.
Portland chose not to guard Jenkins so tightly from the perimeter and paid the price.
"They (the Trail Blazers) were giving him the shot," coach Mark Jackson said. "There's not much data on him. I'm not going to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but the way they played him was tailor-made for him, and he had a big night. He's continuing to get better. The guy is not going to rest on that performance."
Jackson said Jenkins has been a come early/stay late rookie all season at practices, and the 6-foot-3, 220-pound guard believes he has to do that to enjoy a long career in the league.
"In the NBA, you can't get satisfied," he said. "Whatever you did yesterday doesn't matter, especially with us having the Lakers (on Tuesday). A lot of guys when they come in the NBA, it's been their dream all their life but they get satisfied. I think that's one thing that can get you out of here. There's 60 new picks every year that are coming for your spot. So coming in early and leaving late is one of those things that's going to help me stay."