SAN FRANCISCO -- After a full month of increasingly intense individual workouts, Stephen Curry on Tuesday joined his Warriors teammates on the practice court for the first time since last October.
That wasn’t quite enough for Curry, though, as he then stayed behind for individual shooting drills after most of the Warriors had wrapped up their sessions and headed for the showers.
The only indication that Curry’s return is not imminent was his attire. He was the only player wearing a red jersey, signifying “no contact” status.
“We were calling him Tom Brady today,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the team’s first practice after the All-Star break. “Don’t touch Steph.”
“But he took part in everything, other than our scrimmage. We scrimmaged at the end, and he didn’t do that. But he took part in everything else and he’s looking great.”
Though there is no official date for Curry’s return -- he underwent surgery to repair a fracture of the second metacarpal of his left hand -- the Warriors are scheduled to issue an update on March 1. If all goes well, it’s conceivable Curry would immediately begin scrimmaging, with a possible return a few days later.
Asked about Klay Thompson’s status, Kerr indicated he’s not expecting Curry’s sidekick to return this season.
“With Steph, there’s a definite timetable,” Kerr said. “It’s easy to look and say that in a couple weeks, Steph is going to be ready to play. I don’t know exactly what day.
“But Klay is a long way from that. I don’t even entertain any thoughts of Klay playing this year.”
While Thompson is rehabbing a surgically repaired torn ACL, which often requires a year or more before making a full recovery, Curry met all recovery benchmarks in the wake of fracturing his left hand on Oct. 30.
Curry was able to participate in defensive drills, skill work and some offensive scripting, Kerr said. He will be limited Wednesday when the team goes through its next practice.
The last step for Curry will be to endure one or two live scrimmages.
“I don’t know when he’s going to be allowed to scrimmage,” Kerr said. “It’s not this week or anything. But he looks really good. He’s gaining strength, gaining confidence. He has been putting himself through some brutal workouts, so his conditioning is about as good as it can possibly be for somebody who hasn’t been able to scrimmage.”
There has been a measure of debate within the NBA community about whether it’s wise for Curry to return to a team bound for the draft lottery. Kerr is focused on the obvious benefits, even if it’s 15 to 20 games.
“It’s going to be a different role for him,” he said. “He only got three games before his injury. It’s important for him to feel the difference. It feels different for us. With all these young guys we’re trying to teach them on the fly, a lot of things that we’ve taken for granted over the last five years, we can’t take for granted anymore. Steph needs to feel that.”
The Warriors have 27 games remaining. After March 1, that number drops to 21. Their final 20 begins with a four-game homestand from March 5 to March 12. Assuming there are no setbacks, it’s likely Curry will return during that stretch.