A few of the best players in basketball are dealing with injuries that could have a major impact on the 2022 NBA playoffs. Stephen Curry hasn’t played in a month because of a foot sprain, and Luka Doncic suffered a calf strain on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

What do these injuries mean for the first round of the playoffs? Neither player has been ruled out for Game 1 of their respective series, but it’s not yet known if they’ll be able to take the court.

The Golden State Warriors start a first-round series with the Denver Nuggets Saturday night. Curry’s status for the contest will be determined later in the week. Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Curry will try to practice, and the team will see how he responds.

"We'll see how everything goes with Steph next week," Kerr said Sunday. "There's a chance he could be ready for Game 1, there's a chance he might not. It's literally going to be a day-to-day thing as it all unfolds this week.

"We'll know a lot more after the next few days when he's ramping up his work. There's a chance we could get everybody on the same page and healthy."

When Curry suffered the injury in mid-March, the Warriors were optimistic that the two-time NBA MVP would be ready for the start of the playoffs. Even if Curry can’t go in Game 1, there’s a good chance he’ll return at some point in the series against Denver.

Doncic’s status for the first-round seems to be in more peril than Curry’s, considering his injury occurred six days before the Dallas Mavericks start a first-round series with the Utah Jazz. There is no timetable for Doncic’s return, though he can’t be ruled out for Game 1 Saturday afternoon in Dallas, according to ESPN.

Even if Doncic’s calf strain is mild, he likely won’t be close to 100% for Game 1. Players who suffered a calf strain this season missed an average of 16 days.

Doncic could finish in the top-five in 2022 MVP voting. The point guard averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game. If Doncic misses a significant amount of time, Dallas will have a difficult time beating Utah in a seven-game series.

With a 52-30 record, the Mavericks posted their best winning percentage since they won the championship in 2011.

Golden State finished one game ahead of Dallas for the No. 3 seed in the West. Including the game in which Curry got hurt, the Warriors have gone 6-7 since the point guard sprained his foot.

Curry led the Warriors with 25.5 points and 6.3 assists per game. Curry also led the NBA in three-pointers made, despite missing 18 total games.

Denver could be favored in any games that Curry can’t play. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is likely on his way toward winning a second straight MVP award.

Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles against Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter at Moda Center on January 26, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images