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Warriors’ Patrick McCaw has no major damage to back after hard fall

Patrick McCaw
Warriors guard Patrick McCaw lays on the court in pain after falling hard to the court late in the third quarter Saturday.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Preliminary tests show Golden State Warriors guard Patrick McCaw has no structural damage or problems with his nervous system following a terrifying fall to the floor during Saturday’s game at Sacramento. He is expected to be released from the hospital on Sunday.

Golden State announced that X-rays, a CT scan and an MRI exam “were all clear.” McCaw is scheduled to be re-examined by a specialist on Thursday and his injury — aside from anything related to the impact of the fall — will be listed as a bruised lumbar spine.

The second-year pro was taken away on a stretcher after a thud to the court following a foul by Sacramento’s Vince Carter in the 112-96 Warriors win Saturday night.

McCaw, who appeared to be trying to dunk, did a scissor kick in the air over Carter’s right shoulder before landing hard on his back. He lay in agony for about 10 minutes as the arena silenced.

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Carter, who was given a flagrant-one foul, knelt nearby as medical personnel from both teams along with Warriors coach Steve Kerr rushed onto the court.

Players for both teams eventually came to the floor and huddled in prayer as McCaw was placed on a stretcher and wheeled away with his neck stabilized.

“I just hope he’s OK,” a visibly distraught Carter said after the game. “I play this game because I love it and enjoy it, not to see young guys get hurt. He has a bright future. You can tell me whatever, it was an accident. I don’t like to see him sitting there in pain saying he can’t feel his lower half.”

Kerr, though, swore after the foul happened and was visibly frustrated and hollered “He knows better,” referring to Carter, before going out to the court to check on his second-year guard.

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At least one Warriors player believed Carter’s foul was not intentional.

“Vince is not that type of guy, he’s never been that type of guy,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said. “Freak accidents, things happen. A guy jumps and he didn’t touch him much if you’re as high as you can jump you lose your balance easier. I know that was tough on Vince.”

Carter said he approached members of the Warriors after the game and apologized. He appreciated the kind words from the Warriors but couldn’t get his mind off seeing McCaw on the floor.

“It’s all well and good but still a young man is trying to get his feeling back and that’s my concern,” Carter said. “Regardless of how it happened, accident, all of the things that they were telling me, you still want to see him OK.”

Leonard’s return unknown

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard is continuing his injury rehabilitation in New York with his own team of doctors, but is unsure when the star forward and “his group” will clear him to play.

“I don’t know when he’s going to feel, he and his group are going to feel like they’re ready to go,” Popovich said Sunday before a game against Houston. “If I knew, he’d be here. When he and his group feel he’s ready, he’ll be ready.”

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Leonard has missed all but nine games this season while nursing right quadriceps tendinopathy, an injury that flared up late in the offseason. He returned to the team’s lineup briefly but has not played since complaining of soreness in his injured thigh following the Spurs’ home win over Denver on Jan. 13.

Leonard opted to go to New York this week to work with his own team of doctors for the second time this season after first working with them prior to the All-Star break in February. The Spurs’ medical staff has been present for both of Leonard’s extended stays in New York to stay updated on his progress.

Etc.

Forward Jeremy Evans, the 2012 NBA slam-dunk contest champion and six-year NBA veteran who did not play in the NBA last season, has signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks. Evans averaged 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in 39 games with the Hawks’ G League Erie affiliate this season. He was with the Hawks during training camp and played in three preseason games. The move Sunday comes two days after the Hawks announced that leading scorer Dennis Schroder will miss the remainder of the season with a medial bone bruise and a sprained left ankle.


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