Andre Iguodala coy on Warriors return date, taking analytical approach

Iguodala coy on return date, taking analytical approach originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Andre Iguodala spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since his initial press conference upon signing his one-year contract to return to the Warriors, over one month ago.

As far as when he'll make his return to the court, that remains a mystery.

"I'll be there when I'll be there," Iguodala said.

One of the main reasons Iguodala felt comfortable coming back for his 19th and final season in the NBA is because of Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance. Iguodala says he and Celebrini have a plan in place, and a target date to see game action again.

While he believes he's on the right path to play sooner than later, Iguodala wouldn't reveal much more. Why? He knows these things can be in flux. The veteran forward doesn't want to say one thing with his actual reappearance being on a different date.

Simply put, there still are hurdles to climb. Iguodala didn't play in any of the Warriors' five preseason games and he is yet to scrimmage. He feels he isn't too far away from scrimmaging, but that has to happen before the thought of him playing in a game can even pop up.

To no surprise, the business-savvy and extremely intelligent Iguodala is taking a new-school approach to making sure he's ready to roll once he's back in a jersey and out of street clothes for games.

"I have a load that I'm looking for, an analytical load," Iguodala said. "There's a number that you want to have as an output with the devices that we wear, the tracking devices. I've hit that a couple of times and we know how many times a week I need to hit that."

What can get in the way of that, Iguodala admitted, is traveling. That doesn't bode well for him with the Warriors' upcoming schedule, too.

After returning from their first road game, a blowout loss Tuesday to the Suns in Phoenix, the Warriors returned home and face the Miami Heat at Chase Center on Thursday night. But then, their game Saturday against the Hornets starts off a five-game road trip where they'll visit Charlotte, Detroit, Miami, Orlando and New Orleans.

The long road trip also features two back-to-backs, first in Charlotte and Detroit and then in Orlando and New Orleans.

"Once you get in the air and there's pressure on the body with a lot of inflammation, you got to let it calm down, see how long it takes to calm down and then you ramp it back up," he explained. "Just trying to get a good feel for that."

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Overall, Iguodala feels good where his game is at right now. He even has surprised himself with how well he's shooting the ball at practice and in drills.

The 38-year-old will turn 39 in late January. Last season, he played only 31 regular-season games while dealing with a myriad of injury. In the playoffs, he was held to seven games. Right now, he's listed as out with left hip injury management.

When he is ready to give Warriors coach Steve Kerr minutes, Iguodala wants to be the best version of what he can provide the team. With nearly two decades of NBA experience, Iguodala is trusting the training staff and using a data-driven outlook to make his return worthwhile for him and the Warriors.

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