Gary Payton II’s second playoff debut for the Golden State Warriors was nearly cut short by injury. This is after the 30-year-old was forced to exit early in Game 1 against the Sacramento Kings due to a yet-to-be-determined issue.
Warriors insider Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports that Payton requested to be subbed out immediately before quickly heading to the locker room:
“Gary Payton II looked like he signaled for a quick sub “right now” to the Warriors bench and then sprinted to the back, followed by Rick Celebrini. Couldn’t tell the issue,” Slater wrote in his tweet.
The good news for Warriors fans is that not long after his trip to the back, Payton was able to return to the bench. As it is, it looks like GP2 will be available to return for the Warriors:
“Payton has returned to the bench with Celebrini and Mike Dunleavy trailing behind him. Looks like he’s cleared,” Slater reported.
There isn’t too much information available on Payton’s injury, but it is clear that there was some sort of issue that prompted him to head back to the locker room without any hesitation. The fact that he was able to run to the back is a good sign, though. It’s even better than the 6-foot-3 guard was able to quickly return to the bench for the Warriors.
Gary Payton II has played in just seven games for the Dubs this season following his mid-season trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. A mysterious adductor injury kept him out for the majority of the campaign, but he is now looking to make an impact for the defending champs in the postseason.