Stephen Curry expects to return this week for Golden State Warriors

The banged-up Golden State Warriors should see the return of their most important player this week. Point guard Stephen Curry, who has battled with ankle injuries this month, has set Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks as a target date to come back for the defending champions.

The team, however, will still be monitoring injuries to Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green–who left Monday night’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs with what Golden State has termed a pelvic contusion.

So far this season, the Warriors have compiled a 40-10 record when Curry has played, compared to 13-8 when he’s out of the lineup. Curry has missed the last six games with a sprained ankle, and he left the Warriors’ game on March 8 with the injury. He played just two minutes, however.

One of the league’s all-time great shooters, Curry is averaging 26.3 PPG and 6.2 APG for the 53-18 Warriors.

It looks increasingly likely that the Warriors will finish as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, too. They trail the Houston Rockets by 3.5 games, but the Warriors have maintained an 8.5 game lead over the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers.

Given the cushion over the Blazers–and the unlikelihood of catching the Rockets, given that they own the tiebreaker–head coach Steve Kerr could opt to play it safe during the remaining weeks of the regular season in order to assure Golden State is healthy come playoff time.

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