Warriors point guard Stephen Curry got the good news he had hoped to receive: He's not officially shut down for the season. Yet.
The team announced Wednesday that Curry might return in as little as two weeks. Curry will undergo two more weeks of rehabilitation and then be re-evaluated. At that point, if he's cleared, he would return to action.
But he'd have to be 100 percent -- which might be a long shot considering his ankle history.
"We will basically shut him down for two weeks, re-evaluate him after that and make a decision going forward," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We will give it this two-week window and move from there."
Perhaps even Curry couldn't have saved the Warriors on Wednesday in a 102-87 loss to visiting New Orleans.
On the heels of pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to the brink, the Warriors were manhandled by the Hornets, owners of the worst record in the Western Conference.
Golden State's defense was downright porous. New Orleans is the second-lowest-scoring team in the league. But the Warriors allowed the Hornets to shoot 54.4 percent, the season high for an opponent.
David Lee filled the stat sheet: 28 points, five assists, seven rebounds and two blocks. But New Orleans had three players who scored at least 20 points, led by former Warrior Marco Belinelli's 22.
"There's a way to lose, believe it or not," Jackson said. "And playing in this league, I understand that. I know you're not going to win every game. But certainly, tonight wasn't the way to lose. I understand back-to-back nights, I understand a battle last night ... against the Lakers, tough loss. But where we're headed, teams respond by taking care of their business and taking out that tough loss on a team that we're better than."
Curry missed his 11th straight game because of the latest sprained right ankle, which he suffered March 10 against Dallas. Curry has missed 22 games this season. Based on the timetable given, Curry will miss at least the next seven games.
If Curry's evaluation -- which will include tests and scans -- goes well, he could return for the April 11 game at Portland or the April 12 home game against Dallas.
Why return? Curry has multiple reasons. Primarily, he can't stand sitting out.
"No one can ever question or would ever question how much he wants to be out there," Lee said. "If he can play, he's going to play."
Curry said he wants to play as much as he can to work on his game and build some positive momentum going into next season. He also has a financial incentive. He's due a contract extension this offseason. Proving his ankle is healthy would favor him in contract negotiations.
According to one team source, Golden State does want Curry to play this season provided he's healthy. Warriors management is resigned to finishing outside of the top seven draft spots, so sitting Curry to help keep their pick is a reach. (Golden State will keep its first-round selection if it winds up with one of the top seven picks.)
The source said the Warriors would rather Curry play to help his confidence and to give the fans a treat. But that's provided Curry is cleared.
All of the doctors involved are convinced they can fix Curry's ankle, and it isn't in any serious danger. That's why his playing is still a consideration.
Golden State sent Curry to ankle specialist Richard Ferkle in the Los Angeles area Thursday for a second opinion. The results from Ferkle's examination came in Tuesday, and his recommendation did not include shutting Curry down for the season.
Armed with Ferkle's analysis and the input of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim McAdams and the Warriors medical staff, the resulting plan was for Curry to do a bit more rehab and test the ankle in two weeks.
"Without a doubt," McGuire said. "No question about it. I would like to be back here. Hopefully I found a home. We'll see what happens."
The Warriors appear to feel the same way. General manager Larry Riley said Golden State would like to sign McGuire this offseason. Jackson went further, saying he's shocked the Warriors even had a chance to sign McGuire in December.
"Anybody that wants to win and wants to develop a culture of winning -- the phone should have been busy every time you tried to call," Jackson said. "This guy has played every position for us offensively. He's defended every great player we've faced -- whether it was playing 20 minutes, 30 minutes or just 10 seconds at the end of the game."
It was Riley whose call got answered. He signed McGuire to a non-guaranteed, one-year deal for just over $900,000.
After Reggie Williams and Shawne Williams elected to sign elsewhere -- and knowing it couldn't afford the likes of Andrei Kirilenko or Josh Howard -- Golden State settled on McGuire.
The fifth-year forward -- who is 6-foot-9, 220 pounds -- has proved to be a gem of a find. Since early on, he has established himself as the Warriors' best perimeter defender. Plus, his tenacity and toughness have had a noticeable impact on the locker room.
He's won over his teammates with his grit and swagger, and his jokes.
With Ekpe Udoh traded to Milwaukee and center Andris Biedrins hurt, McGuire has been forced to play power forward and even some center. That has left him banging with opposing bigs.
Lately, McGuire has unveiled more of his game. With Curry and Nate Robinson out of action recently, McGuire has played some point forward and has proved to be one of the Warriors' better facilitators.
"He's a winner. He's an absolute winner," Jackson said. "We are fortunate to have him, and hopefully we can keep him around."
11 Consecutive games Stephen Curry has sat out with a sprained right ankle. He has missed 22 games this season.