OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry's return from a knee injury will wait at least one more game.
Curry sat out the opener of Golden State's Western Conference semifinal matchup against New Orleans as he continues to fully recover from a sprained left knee.
Coach Steve Kerr made the announcement during his pregame news conference Saturday night. Kerr called it "very likely" the two-time MVP would play in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
"Just made the decision based on giving him the extra few days and the fact he only scrimmaged yesterday," Kerr said. "You've been out five weeks and we're playing in the playoffs, I don't think one scrimmage is enough, even though he feels great, he wants to play and pleaded his case. But we're going to sit him tonight and very likely he'll play Game 2."
As usual, Curry insisted he "feels great and he's ready to go," said Kerr, who is encouraged Curry feels so good.
Curry returned to full practice with contact Thursday and only scrimmaged 5 on 5 for the first time Friday, and Kerr prefers that Curry get additional on-court time at full speed Sunday before inserting him back into the rotation — which could be off the bench initially or on a minutes restriction, or both.
Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and athletic trainer Chelsea Lane met with Curry and made a decision to keep him out.
"We have to protect him from himself and his own competitive desire," Kerr said.
Curry was injured March 23 on the same night he returned from a six-game absence with a hurt right ankle.
"We practiced the whole week with the understanding that Steph was probably going to play," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "And he will play. It's not like he's going to miss the entire series. We practiced both ways. What we'll do is Plan B, I guess, Plan A, whatever you want to call it."