Stephen Curry is available to play for the Warriors in Game 4

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Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry is available to return to the Warriors on Monday.
Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry is available to return to the Warriors on Monday.

Reported back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry is active and able to return to the Golden State Warriors for Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

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Curry has not taken the floor since Game 4 of the Warriors' opening-round matchup against the Houston Rockets, during which he fell awkwardly after slipping on a wet spot and sustained a grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Golden State went on to eliminate the Rockets in five game without their leading scorer's services, and won the first two games of their second-round series against the Blazers with him still on the sidelines.

There had been some hope that he'd be back in uniform by Game 3, especially after undergoing platelet-rich plasma treatment on the injured knee, but the Warriors medical staff elected to keep Curry on the shelf for Saturday's contest, which Portland won, 120-108, behind 40 points from the Blazers' own star point guard, Damian Lillard.

In the hours leading up to Monday's tip, though, Kerr sounded hopeful about the availability of his top gun:

After all went well, the man himself offered a sign of confidence:

Shortly thereafter, the Warriors made it official:

The Blazers, for their part, prepared Monday with an expectation that Curry would return, according to Erik Gundersen of The Columbian:

“We’ve played against them enough times to where we know how we we’ll guard him,” Damian Lillard said. “Our approach is the same either way. Coverages change when different guys come into the game. We would guard him different than we would guard Shaun Livingston. How we would guard [Leandro] Barbosa is different than how we guard Livingston. It changes anyway. When he comes back we’ll just make that adjustment when he’s in the game. When someone comes in for him we will go back to what we have been doing the first couple of games.”

That's all well and good until, y'know, Steph starts Steph'ing. Then again, that supposes that he'll be able to do that after more than two weeks on the shelf rehabilitating a knee injury that itself came on the heels of an ankle sprain that cost him two more playoff games. Whether or not Curry's able to get right back into this MVP flow, though, his return figures put a charge into a Warriors lineup that's been largely excellent in his absence, and likely makes the odds of the Blazers getting even in the series just a bit longer.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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