Chris Paul discusses Gary Payton II’s latest injury setback

During the Golden State Warriors win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday (Jan. 2) Gary Payton II suffered a hamstring strain in the third quarter. The veteran wing was playing in his second game since returning from a right calf strain.

When speaking to the media following the game, Chris Paul discussed his teammates’ latest injury setback. Paul noted how Payton II is an important member of Golden State’s rotation, and his absence is felt on both sides of the court. Payton has missed 17 games over two separate injury spells and is now likely to be sidelined for another stretch as he recovers from his latest setback.

“He’s such a big part of our team,” Paul said. “People may not realize it, but his energy is consistent every day — every practice, every game. Him coming back has been huge for us. So I hope whatever it is isn’t going to take a long time. I think for him, it’s going to be about getting as healthy as possible.”

Payton II has suited up for the Warriors on 16 occasions this season. He’s averaging 5.4 points and 3 rebounds per game, shooting 45.6% from the field and 28.1% from 3-point range.

When healthy, Payton II provides explosiveness and defense across both guard positions as well as on the wing. His versatility is key to how Kerr wants his team to play, and his presence off the bench provides a steadying factor for some of the team’s younger players.

Warriors fans will now be hoping Payton II’s injury isn’t serious enough to keep him out of the rotation for a prolonged period. Golden State needs all hands on deck if they’re going to figure things out and get their season back on track.


Story originally appeared on Warriors Wire