Warriors understandably being cautious with Kevon Looney

Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors saw the return of injured big man Kevon Looney on Monday but the team was understandably cautious with his minutes.

The Golden State Warriors have been put through the proverbial wringer when it comes to injuries this season. But at the very least, they saw the return of one of their key pieces as Kevon Looney suited up for the first time since opening night on Monday.

The Warriors have seen essentially their entire roster decimated by injuries this season. From stars like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green to role players such as Jacob Evans and Willie Cauley-Stein, no player has been safe from the seemingly never-ending injury bug.

And Looney has been chief among those injured.

The talented big man was dealing with a nagging hamstring injury throughout the majority of training camp but early indications were that he would be good to go for opening night.

And he was as Looney started the Warriors’ first game of the season playing 11 minutes before being pulled at halftime. During those 11 minutes, the Warriors actually looked competitive against the superior Los Angeles Clippers and shockingly played solid defense.

And considering what we’ve seen from the team defensively since, it’s clear that Looney is severely missed.

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Despite playing in that first game, the 23-year-old left at halftime and didn’t return. The initial report was that he had just re-aggravated his hamstring injury but it later became known that the injury was made worse by a condition known as neuropathy.

This is a condition that Looney had dealt with in the past but it had never caused him to miss any games. When all was set and done, however, the former first-round pick was sidelined for well over a month as a result.

But Kevon Looney made his triumphant return in Monday’s disastrous 104-79 loss on the road to the lowly Atlanta Hawks. And judging by the outcome of said game, it’s pretty apparent that he didn’t make much of an impact.

Looney started at power forward in an all-forward starting five but played just 15 minutes on the night. Those 15 minutes came in three separate five-minute intervals as the Warriors were incredibly cautious with him in his first game back.

And with good reason too.

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Looney looked sluggish, out-of-shape, and just off the entire night which is to be expected given that it’s his first game back. And his condition is one that leads to re-aggravation frequently so both Looney and the Warriors were careful not to push it.

It might be a while before Looney is back to 100 percent — and that’s perfectly okay.

The Warriors aren’t going anywhere this season and they may just be better off losing more games down the stretch — not they will have much of a choice. The important things now are continuing to rehab Looney and avoiding any possible setbacks.

With his injury history, you can never be too careful. Looney originally fell in the draft process a few years back because of his recurring injuries hip injuries in college and the last thing the Warriors need is for those hip issues to flare up again.

Looney has become a crucial piece of the team’s rotation and should have a role in the organization beyond this season.

Next. The Warriors must take advantage of their projected high draft pick. dark

The Warriors will be cautious with Kevon Looney going forward, but their precautions are certainly understandable.