Why is Gary Payton II not playing against OKC Thunder? Latest update on Warriors guard's injury

Latest update on Gary Payton II
Latest update on Gary Payton II's injury

Gary Payton II will be sidelined for the Golden State Warriors game against the OKC Thunder on Saturday due to a strained muscle in his left foot. The Warriors disclosed Payton's condition hours before the game's tipoff.

Although the absence of Gary Payton II, known for his on-court tenacity, will be a setback, Warriors fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the injury is not serious. The team said no structural damage was found in his foot.

“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.
“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 explains Chris Paul’s impact on the Warriors

Gary Payton II highlighted the significance of Chris Paul's addition to the Warriors, citing the veteran's contributions to leadership, playmaking and defense.

“It’s Chris Paul, you can probably throw him into any team in the league, and he’ll help,” Payton II said. “He does what he does. He’s a leader. Playmaker, gets teams organized. He’s defensive-minded; that’s what I like about him.”

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.

“Me and him just talked about defense. And, young guys follow. Moses has been in the passing lanes and what not. … On the other side, you know what to do, run out and look for the guys you need to look for,” Payton II added.

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.

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Edited by Krutik Jain