Injuries may be the only obstacle to another Warriors championship, and the team is already dealing with one to their starting center.
This summer, Zaza Pachulia was planning on playing for the Georgian national team in the FIBA EuroBasket tournament. He would have been their lone NBA player.
But a little over two weeks ago, on August 11th, Zaza Pachulia injured his ankle in a scrimmage against the Czech Republic. While his coach thinks he will be out for the entire tournament, Pachulia is optimistic he can return. He told Eurobasket that his recovery is going well:
It’s a work in progress. We’re getting beter and better. The trainers are doing a great job taking care of me. Every day I’m getting better and better. We’re doing some good treatements. It’s obviously a process. The good thing is that there is that progress every day. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to fully rehabilitate and be able to fully practice. But at least we are in the right direction.
He’s been communicating with the Warriors too.
I’ve been in touch with the Warriors daily and giving them updates. What kind of rehabs we are doing and how my ankle feels before the practice, after the practice. All the time. I’ve been giving them all informations regarding my rehabilitation, they know everything of course. down to the last detail.
Georgia will play games in EuroBasket from August 31st to September 6th, and may play later if they advance past the group stage. However, they’re a fairly weak team, and I’d bet against it.
If the Georgian coach’s prediction that Pachulia will not play at all in Eurobasket is correct, Pachulia will miss a little more than three weeks because of the injury. That’s not terrible, and would give plenty of time for healing before the start of the Warriors season.
The Warriors begin training camp for the 2017-2018 season in late September, and have their first preseason game on September 30th. The team begins the regular season on October 17th, which is a bit more than two months from the date of the injury.
I’d be a little concerned if Pachulia decides to play in Eurobasket: ankle injuries can often be persistent and recur over long periods. We don’t have much information on the nature of the injury, but I think it would be best to play it safe. The last thing the Warriors would want is a lingering injury to their starting center.