PORTLAND, Ore. -- Andre Iguodala played less than 18 minutes Saturday night before hobbling into the Warriors' locker room in the third quarter, never to return to Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Trail Blazers.
Soreness in his lower left leg, according to the Warriors, though neither coach Steve Kerr nor Iguodala seemed particularly concerned.
Yet it's serious enough that Iguodala will undergo an MRI on Sunday. Furthermore, one word made its way around Moda Center after the game that should cause enough alarm for the Warriors to consider resting the 35-year-old veteran Monday night in Game 4.
Soreness in an athlete’s Achilles' tendon is not unusual, but it's not to be taken lightly, given that a rupture is among the most devastating injury that one can sustain.
Asked specifically whether the soreness indicated a problem with the Achilles' tendon, Iguodala did not deny it.
“It’s in that region,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I've had it before,” he added. “I’ll be all right.”
Iguodala added that he has dealt with soreness in that area “for a while,” without specifying. Until Saturday, he had played through it.
So, he might be right. Maybe there is no reason for worry. The MRI will provide clarification. As someone who knows his body about as well as any player in the NBA, Iguodala might need nothing more than a few sessions of physical therapy.
“He just had some soreness ... so we didn’t want to risk anything and put him back in the game,” Kerr said. “When we took him out mid-third, the trainer said that will be it for him.”
If Iguodala’s wheel is barking, it’s easy to understand why. He entered Saturday averaging 30.2 minutes per playoff game -- about seven more than in the regular season. He spent most of the six-game first-round series chasing LA Clippers guard Lou Williams and most of the six-game second-round series assigned to NBA leading scorer James Harden.
Iguodala has spent much of the first three games this round coping with either of Portland’s two dynamic guards, Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum.
The Warriors generally err on the side of caution in matters of health. Sitting Iguodala on Monday would seem the prudent move.
If ever there were a time to be overly cautious, it's with a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series.