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Reports: Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry two-to-three practices away from return

From NBA Twitter and media reports

The team with the league’s best record is closer to returning a two-time Kia MVP to its lineup.

Stephen Curry, who has missed the last nine games with a sprained ankle, has been ramping up his practice load as he approaches a full-fledged return to the court.’s Ramona Shelburne cited Warriors coach Steve Kerr saying that Curry “needs to go through 2-3 practices before he comes back.” She added that Curry played 4-on-4 on Sunday, but will be out until at least Friday, when Golden State hosts Charlotte.

Additionally, Melissa Rohlin of The Mercury News has more on Curry’s timeline for return and when Golden State is hoping to have him back in the lineup:

Stephen Curry, who has been sidelined for three weeks because of a sprained right ankle, will miss Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz and will be re-evaluated again on Friday before the team hosts the Charlotte Hornets.

Curry participated in modified three-on-three and four-on-four scrimmages one day late last week, and the team plans to “build his tolerance by increasing his on-court practice demands and intensity” over the next few days, according to the Warriors.

The team typically wants a player to participate in five-on-five scrimmages before they’re cleared to play. They want to make sure he can cut and simulate a game-type situation.

“The evaluation indicated that Stephen continues to make good progress overall,” the Warriors said in a statement.

The Warriors have lost just once with Curry out, a 96-81 home setback to Denver on Dec. 23. Curry is averaging 26.3 points, 6.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per contest. Golden State currently holds the best record in the league at 27-7.

He was initially expected to miss at least two weeks because of the injury, but after the team’s training staff re-evaluated him last Tuesday, they determined that he’d need to miss at least another week and be re-evaluated Dec. 26. According to The Mercury News, Curry did not participate in any team practices last week, but did shooting and dribbling drills while sometimes being attached to a resistance band.