The Mystery of Gary Payton II: Absence from OKC Thunder Match Explained as Warriors Guard Suffers Injury

Gary Payton II, who exited Thursday’s game due to a left foot injury, underwent an MRI. The MRI did not show any structural damage and confirmed the injury as a strained muscle in his left foot. The team said in a press release that Gary will not play in tonight’s game against Oklahoma City and will be re-evaluated over the weekend. The guard sustained a foot injury early in the second quarter of the Warriors-Thunder game earlier this week, resulting from a landing on Chet Holmgren’s foot. The absence of Payton II will impact the Warriors’ backcourt depth, especially given the ongoing questionable status of superstar Steph Curry. Draymond Green, currently serving a suspension, will also be unavailable for the game against the Thunder. Payton II is 10th in the Warriors in minutes per game with 17.3. He is averaging 6.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.2 steals. Gary Payton II highlighted the significance of Chris Paul’s addition to the Warriors, citing the veteran’s contributions to leadership, playmaking and defense. Playing mostly off the bench, Paul is averaging 9.2 points, 7.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 27.8 minutes per game this season. In the absence of Curry and Payton II, the Warriors, who are now 10th in the Western Conference with a 6-7 record, will have to rely on Paul, Brandin Podziemski, and Cory Joseph.