When Steph Curry missed five games in March after falling tailbone-first on a metal step at Toyota Center in Houston, the Warriors announced he had sustained a contusion, the medical term for a bruise.
Curry was on the Warriors' sideline during that five-game absence, and while he was moving gingerly and stood most of the time, the team never let on that the injury was worse than a contusion.
Then one of Curry's best friends, Kent Bazemore, told reporters after the Warriors' season-ending play-in loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday that the 2020-21 NBA MVP finalist actually suffered a hairline fracture in his tailbone.
President of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers confirmed to reporters Monday that Curry indeed suffered a hairline fracture in his tailbone, and he explained why the team never released that important detail.
"Yeah, I think he had a small hairline, but as I was told, the pain and discomfort was coming more from the contusion," Myers said on a video conference call. "And just so you know, when we have an injury, everybody that I'm talking to here, looking at, is very good and probably have been working on their medical degree, just like I am. But when you have an injury like that or any injury, what we do is we meet with the player, meet with the player's representative, we meet with our medical staff and we ask, 'How do you want to characterize this injury?' And in conjunction and collaboration, we all said, 'Look, hairline fracture sounds scary. Do you want us to put that in there? Do you not?' They said, 'Let's just go with contusion.'
"And it's not a situation where we're trying to be deceitful [or] the player is. In that specific instance, that's how we went about it and being told the reason he's not playing right away was more the contusion, and that's what we went with."
Before the injury on March 17, Curry was averaging 29.0 points in 39 games. Upon his return on March 29, Curry went on a historic tear.
Over the final 24 games Curry played in, he averaged a staggering 36.9 points on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 43.7 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Curry won Western Conference Player of the Month in both April and May, and he went on to beat out Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal for his second career scoring title.
It's unclear when or if the fracture healed over the final six weeks of the season, but Curry did have to wear padding underneath his basketball shorts during games.
If Curry averaged nearly 37 points over a six-week span while playing with a hairline fracture in a very uncomfortable place, then it only adds to the impressiveness of his 2020-21 season.