(Reuters) – Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is thrilled to finally be returning to the court after missing more than four months with a broken hand and has set his sights set on winning his first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo this year.
The twice NBA MVP will lace them on Thursday in San Francisco for the first time since he broke his left hand on Oct. 30, although coach Steve Kerr said he will not play more than 28 minutes after missing the last 58 contests.
“It feels like the first day of school,” the three-time NBA champion told reporters on Thursday after a shoot around.
“I feel pretty confident in where I’m at physically and I’m just excited to get back out there.”
The 31-year-old three-point shooting specialist acknowledged, however, that he was adjusting to a “new normal” with his surgically-repaired, non-shooting hand.
“That’s the reality of it,” he said.
“I’ve just got to get out there and play … I just want to get to a point where I don’t think about it when I’m on the floor and hopefully that comes back pretty quick.”
After making five consecutive NBA finals appearances the Warriors have struggled mightily this season after losing Curry four games into the campaign.
His absence came after the squad lost key contributors Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala in the off-season. They have also been without sharp-shooting guard Clay Thompson, who tore his ACL in last season’s finals.
As a result the Warriors have posted an NBA-worst 14-48 record, although the team is hoping to bounce back next season behind a healthy Curry and Thompson and a high draft pick due to their poor record.
Even though the Warriors season is a lost cause, Curry said he still hoped to achieve glory on the basketball court this year at the Olympics.
“It wasn’t really a thought until recently,” he said when asked whether he plans to play for Team USA at the Tokyo Games.
“Right now, the focus is just trying to stay healthy these last 20 games, get my rhythm back, get to the level of basketball I know I’m capable of playing,” he said.
“But yeah, that’s still the goal.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Ferris)