Stephen Curry Warriors
Stephen Curry, pictured sitting on the bench before the Golden State Warriors' game against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of Round 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 16, 2018 in Oakland, California, has missed the entire postseason with an injury. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The biggest variable of the 2018 NBA playoffs remains Stephen Curry’s injury status. The point guard won’t play as the Golden State Warriors try to clinch their first-round series with the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night in Game 5, and he’s not expected to face the Spurs no matter how long the series lasts.

Curry last played on March 23 when he suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain, an injury that typically requires between three and six weeks of recovery time. He was re-evaluated three weeks later on the same day that Golden State made their 2018 postseason debut. Curry was re-evaluated on April 20 and cleared for “modified” practices and the team announced he’d be examined again in a week.

Before the playoffs began, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Curry wouldn’t play in the first round.

“Steph is not going to play anytime soon,” Kerr said Sunday, prior to Golden State’s Game 4 loss. “But he’s come along well and has looked good in practice.”

“I can’t put a timetable on it,” Kerr said. “But I think he’s coming along well.”

If Curry is re-evaluated for a third time on Friday, April 27, it will mark exactly five weeks since he got hurt.

One more victory over the Spurs would give the Warriors a second-round meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA’s most dominant first-round performance.

The exact schedule for a potential Warriors-Pelicans series is unknown. According to, the conference semifinals series are expected begin on April 30 and May 1, though they could possibly move up to April 28 and April 29 depending on how the rest of the series play out.

The games between Golden State and New Orleans would likely be played every other day. Waiting exactly six weeks to put Curry back on the court could force him to miss two or three games in the second round.

Both the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz have a 3-1 series lead. They each have a chance to punch their tickets to the second round Wednesday.

The conference finals can’t start until May 13 at the earliest.

Golden State has been understandably cautious with Curry. He missed time earlier in the year with other injuries, ending the regular season with just 51 games played. The Warriors went 41-10 in those contests, going 17-14 without their most important player.

Curry suffered the same injury two years ago during the Warriors’ record-setting 73-win season. A sprained MCL in Game 4 of the first round forced Curry to miss four games and two weeks in the playoffs. The point guard put up impressive numbers upon his eventual return, but he wasn’t quite the same player that put together the first-ever unanimous MVP season before suffering the injury.

Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, and they could lose to the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals if Curry isn’t at full strength.

Curry averaged 26.4 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in the 2017-2018 regular season. He shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from three-point range.