A Monday morning MRI has revealed that Warriors star point guard as a Grade 1 MCL sprain according to NBA.com. A lot of you are wondering what does a grade 1 MCL sprain mean? I did the research for you.

  • Mild or grade 1 injuries usually get better in 1 to 3 weeks and may only need home treatment along with using crutches for a short time.
  • Moderate or grade 2 injuries usually get better in about a month. You may need to wear a hinged knee brace and limit how much weight you put on your leg.
  • Severe or grade 3 injuries may require wearing a hinged brace for a few months, and limiting weight on the leg for 4 to 6 weeks.

According to Web MD, Steph Curry is going to be just fine. Best case scenario, Warriors fans will get the star point guard back by game three At worst, he misses this round. This all depends on how long Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers can extend their series with the Clippers. However, some thing he might actually miss the second,

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of the knee and provides lateral stability, resisting forces that generally come from the outside of the knee. If you picture a football player being hit on the outside of the knee, bending it in, you get the force that normally sprains this important ligament.

There are secondary stabilizers here, mostly muscular. This is also affected greatly by the athlete’s proprioceptive abilities. The body will naturally adjust for any injury. People limp as a compensation, but you can also watch for other accommodations that are often unconscious. For knee injuries, there is often a significant change in gait, which could affect Curry given his history of ankle problems.

A Grade I sprain indicates only minor tearing of the ligament. While any sprain is by definition some tearing of the fibers of a ligament, there is no loss of integrity and surgery is not a concern. The question now is stability and whether there’s any associated damage. Given the short timeframe, it is unlikely there is significant damage.

One major question is whether there was any meniscus involvement. Grade I sprains usually don’t have much. With any lateral motion, to either side of the knee, past the normal range of motion (which is small) can pinch and tear the meniscus. Usually the mechanism is that the knee leans to the side, pinching the meniscus, then the knee rotates slightly, tearing it. Meniscal involvement could mean an extension of the rehab time and even surgery, though it can often be held off for a period of time.

More aggressive therapies have recently been used, including PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cell injections, but surgery is seldom done except in cases of rupture. Even then, the stability of the knee is the deciding factor. When Adrian Peterson tore his MCL secondary to an ACL rupture, the MCL was not repaired.

Another factor will be whether Curry can play wearing a brace. If there’s no meniscal damage, Curry would not likely cause further damage by playing with the sprain. The brace would, in effect, take the stabilizing role of the damaged MCL. The downside is, of course, that braces are bulky and take some getting used to. Even if the knee is stable while braced, that’s no guarantee that Curry can play and play well.

It could have been worse for Curry and the Warriors, though any absence is going to be felt. There should be no long term consequences from this injury, though everything about the playoffs is short term. Expect Curry to be back, perhaps braced, sometime late in the next round.

I”ll be on the look out for any updates on the status of Steph Curry.