Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry injured the ring finger on his right hand while going for a steal against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
The injury forced Curry to miss the Warriors’ loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday. He returned to the floor against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, but struggled from the floor to shoot just six-for-17 during regulation (including three air balls). In overtime, Curry regained his form to torch L.A. for 13 points and the win.
After the game, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne, Curry said he sought advice from former NBA star Kobe Bryant on ways to manage the injury.
Curry said he reached out to Bryant because he knew the former Lakers star had dealt with a similar injury during his career. According to Curry, Bryant told him it was possible to play with the injury if it’s wrapped and padded, but that it was one of the more painful injuries he’d experienced in his career, and that it did not heal quickly.
“It hurts,” Curry said. “But guys have played through worse than this. Obviously with your shooting hand, it’s one of those things you got to get adjusted to. I’m not used to playing with tape, a brace, wrist wrap, all that stuff. But I’ll get better with it.”
Bryant’s similar finger injury occurred during the 2009-10 season when he fractured his ring finger in two places near the tip after trying to catch a pass. Despite the injury, Bryant went on to win NBA Finals MVP as he led L.A. to his fifth and final NBA championship.
During the 2010 offseason, Kevin Ding (now with Bleacher Report, then with the Orange County Register), reported Bryant’s injured right finger was “so debilitated by arthritis […] there may be no real way to fix it.”
Curry says he intends to play through his injury and control the pain with tape and padding on his shooting hand.