Bell, Warriors Breathe Sigh of Relief With ‘mild' Ankle Sprain

OAKLAND -- Barely an hour after he was pounding the floor and then limping into the locker room, Jordan Bell was sitting in the Warriors locker room cussing through a smile on his face.

What looked to be a devastating ankle injury sustained Tuesday night in a 114-101 victory over the Nets was deemed "mild" and will cost Bell only a few games.

Based on his immediate and demonstrative reaction, there was fear of the worst. Bell underwent X-rays, after which he was diagnosed the "mild" sprain. He won't even be fitted for a protective boot.

"I knew it was mild," Bell said, "but I was just frustrated after just coming back from the same injury."

Bell missed 14 games after sustaining a severe ankle injury on Jan. 17 at Chicago. He returned last week, averaging about nine minutes in the three games on the road trip.

Bell breathed a sigh of relief. The Warriors had their reasons for exhaling more deeply. Bell likely will have a significant role down the stretch of the regular season and almost certainly in the postseason.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is committed to employing a center-by-committee approach, with JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Kevon Looney alternating with Bell, who at 6-foot-9 is versatile and the best athlete of the bunch.

Pachulia has been the starter all season, but McGee has started all six games since the All-Star break.

Bell's value is at a premium against teams that play small and utilize athletic centers, such as Houston's Clint Capela or Cleveland's latest starting center Larry Nance Jr.

Kerr clearly felt he avoided what could have been a major issue in the final weeks.

"He just told me that he doesn't think it's serious," Kerr said. "It was his right ankle and not the left one, which was the one that has kept him out recently. He was said it was not a serious sprain. He feels like he's going to be fine, but we're going to take it day by day."

Why was Bell cussing? Not to worry. He was simply reliving his immediate reaction when his right foot landed atop the foot of Draymond Green.

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