SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State’s veteran forward, Andrew Iguodala, was ruled out for Game 5 of the Warriors’ first round against the Denver Nuggets with a left cervical disc injury. He will be revalued in a week, which means he will miss the rest of the Warriors’ series against the Nuggets and possibly the start of the second round.
“It’s a huge loss for us,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s a guy who’s been through it all and seen it all in his career and has played in a ‘million’ playoff games for us. He knows exactly what’s going on and we can use him in a variety of ways … so It’s a great loss,” he repeated.
Iguodala missed Game 2 against Denver with neck spasms, and while this injury is also in his neck, it’s not the same thing. However, the team believes both neck injuries are related to the back injury that kept him out for seven weeks. Before that, he missed eight games with a hip injury. He played just 31 of 82 regular season games.
One of the reasons the Warriors were so wary of Iguodala during the regular season was to ensure he would be available in the playoffs, giving the younger, less experienced players in the rotation a stabilizing veteran presence.
Iguodala’s absence could lead the Warriors to rely more on the rookie Jonathan Kuminga, who made his first appearance in this series in Game 4, scoring nine points in just over 11 minutes, all in the second quarter. Before Iguodala was ruled out, Kerr did not speculate on how much he planned to play against Kuminga in Game 5, but said Kuminga has a role with the team in the first-round series and beyond.
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Iguodala will miss rest of series against Nuggets