DENVER – The Warriors expect a critical update today on the status of David Lee, their All-Star power forward who left Game 1 of the first-round series against the Nuggets on Saturday with what has initially been diagnosed as a strained right hip flexor.
X-rays taken before the end of the game at Pepsi Center were negative, an encouraging development for the Warriors. But team officials were waiting for Lee to have an MRI exam, scheduled for today, before putting a timeline on his return.
“We’ll figure that out once the doctors get a better look at it and then we’ll go from there,” coach Mark Jackson said after the 97-95 loss to the Nuggets.
Lee was in immediate pain after hitting the court hard under the basket, putting his hands around the hip or groin area. He got up after a brief time on the ground, missed the first free throw, made the second. The Warriors took a foul to stop the clock and get him out of the game, but Lee could not make it to the bench on his own. Teammates helped him to a chair.
After a few minutes there, and after talking with the Golden State medical staff, he went to the locker room for X-rays and the official end to his night after 29 minutes, 14 rebounds to tie teammate Andrew Bogut for game-high honors, and 10 points on four-of-14 shooting.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is here Tuesday. If Lee does not play, Carl Landry could move from a prominent role off the bench into the starting lineup, or Jackson, if he doesn’t want to alter that rotation, could go small.
“It was unfortunate,” Jackson said. “He’s certainly a highlighted guy for us, somebody we count on. At the same time, we’ve prepared all season long. We believe in our guys, top to the bottom. We feel comfortable and confident in whoever has to step up in his play. We are, and will always be, a no-excuse basketball team. So we’ll move on.”