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Why Steve Kerr looks at Klay Thompson’s injury as a “positive”

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OAKLAND — Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not mince any words when he measured the severity of Klay Thompson’s fractured right thumb.

“We’re probably looking at a couple weeks,” Kerr said.

The Warriors (51-16) have ruled Thompson out for at least four games, including Wednesday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers (31-36) at Oracle Arena. Yet, Kerr looked more at the potential long-term benefits of Thompson’s absence as opposed to the short-term consequences.

“I look at this as a positive. I think it’s going to be really productive in the long haul,” Kerr said. “It’s not fun to deal with. But for a couple of weeks, he can get away from the game a little bit. Being able to recharge the batteries is probably a good thing.”

Thompson sustained the injury on Sunday in Minnesota, an injury that initially was considered a sprain before being diagnosed with a fracture. But with Thompson playing 530 out of a possible 543 games in the middle of his seventh NBA season, Kerr said Thompson would have needed to take time off before the NBA playoffs start in mid-April.

“That’s crazy. It’s not like these are minutes where he’s spotting up. He’s running everywhere and chasing the opposing team’s best guard,” Kerr said. “The guy is a machine. Even without the thumb [injury], I thought we were considering giving him a game or two off down the stretch. He looked more spent recently.”

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If only that marked the only injuries for the Warriors to monitor. The Warriors will start Quinn Cook, Nick Young, Kevin Durant, Kevon Looney and Zaza Pachulia against the Lakers, which dwindled the Warriors’ number of healthy All-Stars from four to one.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry will sit out for at least four more games because of a tweaked right ankle that has already sidelined him for two.

“We’re trying to build up the strength as best we can around the ankle,” Kerr said of Curry’s injury. “The training staff felt an extra week or 10 days of intense rehabilitation will put him in a much better position to play him the rest of the year with less risk of spraining the ankle.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green will sit out because of a sore right shoulder that has bothered him all season. Warriors forward David West will miss his fifth consecutive game because of a right arm cyst, though Kerr said he will likely play on Friday against Sacramento. Warriors second-year guard Patrick McCaw has stayed sidelined with a fractured left wrist for the past month, though he began practicing today without wearing a brace.

Warriors forwards Andre Iguodala (sprained left wrist) and Jordan Bell (sprained left ankle) will return with conservative playing time after missing the past three games.

All of which might mean Durant assumes a larger role. Durant has posted a combined 116 points on 37-of-79 shooting since Curry tweaked his right ankle last Thursday against San Antonio.

“I control minutes. I’m not going to overplay him,” Kerr said. “But our focus will definitely be on what we’re doing as a group. We’re going to rely on him heavily like we did all season. I’m not going to overwork him.”

Source: East Bay Why Steve Kerr looks at Klay Thompson’s injury as a “positive”

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