The Golden State Warriors could be getting their star player back soon. After missing the last nine games due to partial tears in two lower-leg ligaments, Stephen Curry may return during Golden State's three-game road trip next week, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Curry hasn't played since Feb. 4, and during his absence the Warriors have gone just 5-5. However, they've won the last three games, including a 23-point comeback win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Though it's unclear exactly which game Curry could make his return, getting him back next week is a huge boost for a Golden State team that sits fifth in the Western Conference. That's a big boost from the No. 9 spot the Warriors sat in right before the All-Star break. Curry's return will be perfect timing as the defending champs try to improve their playoff positioning with about six weeks left of the regular season, because while they are currently fifth in the West, they're also 2.5 games ahead of the No. 11 spot. In a crowded Western Conference two or three losses in a row could mean the difference between securing a playoff spot without going through the play-in round or missing the postseason in its entirety.
The Warriors upcoming road trip includes matchups with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, followed by a meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and concludes with what will surely be a competitive contest with the the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. The Lakers meeting may be the easiest of the three matchups, as LeBron James will be sidelined, and Anthony Davis just joined the injury list today for L.A.'s game against OKC Wednesday night. Whichever game Curry returns, it wouldn't be surprising to see him on a minutes restriction to ease him back into things.
When Curry's been healthy this season, he's been operating at his typical superstar level. There was a point in time this season when he was replicating his success from 2015-16 unanimous MVP campaign, showing that he's still capable of reaching that supernova level. However, Curry's brilliance has been hampered with injuries this season, which also included an 11-game absence back in December and early January from a shoulder injury.
But despite Curry's nightly MVP-like performances, the Warriors have struggled to find any kind of consistency this season. With a 32-30 record, Golden State isn't performing like the dominant team we've seen in the past. But with Curry's return on the horizon, the Warriors have to hope that his presence can help turn this uncharacteristic season around in time for another deep postseason run.