It feels like an eternity since Andre Iguodala last played these playoffs. The good news for the Golden State Warriors is that his return appears poised to happen soon.
Chris Haynes of ESPN has a great story about how Iguodala has been reportedly pain-free for the past few days and is eying a return for these NBA Finals.
It certainly seems like a long time since he was originally ruled as just day-to-day during the Western Conference Finals, but injuries are unpredictable that way.
For whatever reason, the bruise below Iguodala’s left knee wasn’t as quickly subsiding as expected, and the missed games began piling up.
Iguodala exited game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets when he collided knees with James Harden.
Iguodala went through an entire personal workout on Saturday and reportedly sprinted for the first time since sustaining the injury.
What’s interesting is that the team acted so optimistic about an early return in the days immediately following the injury apparently before seeing if Iguodala could actually sprint with it.
It was either gamesmanship on their part to force the Rockets to have to prepare for him possibly being in the lineup or they originally just deemed the injury less serious than it would eventually become.
Iguodala’s status for game 3 remains unknown, although it’s encouraging that he’s reportedly making progress with the injury. Steve Kerr thinks Iguodala will return for this series.
That might ultimately depend on how deep this series goes, however. The Warriors are up 2-0 with games 3 and 4 shifting to Cleveland.
Iguodala has missed 6 games in a row, and the Warriors could really use his presence to make earning that championship a bit easier.
Beyond the emotional uplift his return could provide, Iguodala is a fantastic perimeter defender and a great facilitator on offense. In past Finals, he has done an admirable job of defending LeBron James and was awarded Finals MVP back in 2015.
His influence can’t be understated, and the Warriors chances of winning another championship would only go up with Iguodala back.