Curry returns from ankle injury confident in health, Warriors


San Francisco (AFP)

Golden State Warriors playmaker Stephen Curry returned to the lineup Friday for the defending NBA champions confident in his team and the health of his tweaked right ankle.

The Warriors, seeking their third crown in four seasons, own the NBA's second-best record at 53-18 after going 2-4 in two weeks without Curry, but the Houston Rockets top the league and Western Conference at 58-14 as the playoff loom in three weeks.

"We know what Houston is doing," Curry said. "There's no easy out at all. We control what we can control. That's the consistent thing from year to year. If we do what we can do, we have something to build on."

But Curry, who ranks seventh in the NBA with 26.3 points a game, recognizes it's time to get back on the court with his teammates.

"If we're trying to win a championship I need to be out there," Curry said. "I'm not coming back on the floor thinking I'll do anything any different. I don't put any extra pressure on myself. We need every single guy out there to be available."

Curry, who also averages 6.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds a game, said his toughest adversity during rehabilitation came from boredom, monotony and frustration.

"I was just trying to stay positive, understanding the games that matter are coming up and I want to be out there for sure," Curry said.

"I'm feeling good. I've had a good two weeks of rehab. I've taken the patient approach to getting as close to 100 percent as possible.

"I'll know the difference between my right and left (ankles) but that won't stop me from being who I am on the court. I'll have confidence in myself when I go back out there."

Curry said he wouldn't be returning if he were going to damage the ankle more by playing on it, although he might revisit the issue once the season is over.

"There's nothing that's going to happen between now and the end of June that's going to change that. I'm going to keep it stable and strong," Curry said.

"When it comes to being the player I want to be, making all the cuts I want to make and all the moves I want to make, I'm at that point right now."