Harrison Barnes Injury: Updates on Warriors Star's Ankle Injury and Return

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

Jun 4, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) handles the ball during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has not played since suffering a sprained left ankle against the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 27. However, he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Barnes to Return vs. Hornets

Monday, Jan. 4

Barnes told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle he will play against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Brandon Rush will get the start, and Barnes will come off the bench, per Monte Pool of CSN Bay Area. 

Latest on Barnes' Practice Status

Monday, Dec. 28

Barnes has begun to practice "without restriction," per Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area.

Latest on Barnes' Recovery

Monday, Dec. 21

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton told reporters Barnes has resumed contact drills.

Myers Comments on Barnes' Timeline for Return

Thursday, Dec. 3

"It's not right around the corner. I don't know if it will be a week or two or more," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in an interview with 95.7 The Game on Thursday (via Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group).

MRI Results on Barnes' Ankle Revealed 

Sunday, Nov. 29

Tests have revealed Barnes did not suffer any broken bones, but he is expected to miss "at least" the next three games due a sprained left ankle, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. He will be re-evaluated in a week, according to the team.

Barnes Comments on Injury

Sunday, Nov. 29

"It's just something you have to work through," Barnes said, per Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News. "I haven't sprained my ankle too many times to compare this one to, but it really hurts."

How Barnes' Return Impacts Warriors

Barnes, 23, established himself as a key figure for the team during the Warriors' championship run last year, averaging career highs in points (10.1) and rebounds (5.5) per game, while also shooting a career-best 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. 

While his stats don't jump off the page, Barnes gives the team an excellent perimeter shooter from the small forward position and provides solid defense. Trying to keep him in Golden State with the team's bevy of stars has become a potential issue, of course, as Barnes and the team have yet to negotiate a long-term contract extension. 

The Warriors do have an excellent alternative on the wing to replace Barnes if he's limited in his return, as Andre Iguodala can step in for the injured star and provide scoring and defense. 

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