Warriors New Head Athletic Trainer Trying Something New With Curry’s Problematic Ankle

Warriors new head athletic trainer Troy Wenzel has already come with a new approach for the troubled right ankle of point guard Stephen Curry. And, so far, Curry and coach Keith Smart said they are comfortable with and confident in the current treatment.

Curry has sprained it five times this season, including a mild sprain he sustained in practice on Jan. 25. Previously, Curry said the focus was on strengthening the ankle to keep it from rolling over so easily. So between games he spent his rehab time going hard to build up his ankle. The new plan? Rest.

CURRY: “Our new athletic trainer Troy is bringing new ideas to how to treat it and kind of keeping it consistent. Not saying the old stuff didn’t work. But sometimes a different approach can maybe spark recovery. It’s just consistency, trying to make sure I stay on my routine every practice day and get my ankle rehab done. … We’re allowing it to heal a little longer. In between games, not really killing my ankle and kind of fatiguing it out. Instead, if we have a break in between, we’re making sure in those days I’m just icing and staying off of it. That’s a pretty good way to recover instead of strengthening it really hard in between.”

Wenzel took over for Tom Abdenour on Jan. 22. He replaced Ton Abdenour, who after 24 years with the Warriors left to take a job at San Diego State. His last game was Jan. 21 vs. Sacramento.

In addition to changing the between-games routine, Wenzel changed the taping technique on Curry’s ankle. Smart said he was confident with the new tape job they’re doing now. So confident, he said he isn’t concerned about Curry re-aggravating the ankle in the Rookie Game during the All-Star break.

CURRY: “We’ve tried every tape technique this year. This one is the one I started with, after I came back and took that nasty brace off, the one Tom was hooking up. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. But it’s just one that we’re sticking with and making sure that we do it the same way every time.”

Curry has also made one other small adjustment. He now wears a size 13 shoe, which is a half a size smaller than he normally wears. Curry said it took some getting used to, because he usually likes breathing room in his Nikes. But with the tape job and the smaller sneakers, his ankle is more secure.

Marcus Thompson