Gary Payton II

Warriors' GP2 out at least three weeks with hamstring injury

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Gary Payton II's highly anticipated return to the court was short-lived.

The Warriors announced Thursday that Payton will be re-evaluated in three weeks after an MRI confirmed that the reserve guard sustained a grade 2 left hamstring strain against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at Chase Center.

The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported Wednesday, citing sources, that Payton would miss "several weeks" with the injury.

Payton sustained the injury Tuesday night in the Warriors' 121-115 win over the Orlando Magic at Chase Center when he was defending Magic point guard Cole Anthony and then appeared to trip over his leg and fall awkwardly before grabbing his left hamstring.

He grimaced, ripping off his headband in frustration and throwing it before being helped to the Warriors' locker room. 

It was just his second game back after missing 13 games with a right calf injury.

Before sustaining the injury and exiting the game early, Payton was a plus-10 with two points and four rebounds. Warriors point guard Chris Paul felt for his teammate while speaking to reporters postgame and shared just how impactful his contributions are to the team.

"It’s tough," Paul said. "He’s such a big part of our team. People may not realize it but his energy is consistent, every day, every practice, every game. Him coming back to our team has been huge for us. I hope what it is isn’t something that’s going to take a long time. For him, it’s going to be about just getting as healthy as possible.

"He’s a competitor, I know how bad he wants to play and how hard he’s been working to get back out there. We’ll see what happens but that’s unfortunate for a guy like GP who works as hard as he does."

In 16 games this season, Payton is averaging 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 16.3 minutes per contest.

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