Stephen Curry's injury will force these three Warriors to elevate their games

NBA null Basketball

Stephen Curry made his return from an ankle injury on Friday night against the Hawks and looked like the Curry of old.

The two-time MVP had a team-high 29 points, but his night was cut short when teammate JaVale McGee landed awkwardly on his left leg in the third quarter. It was later revealed Curry had sustained a Grade 2 sprain of his left MCL and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

MORE: Latest news on Curry's injury

Kevin Durant suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise last season in a game in Washington that gave Golden State's title hopes cause for caution. He missed five weeks of action but was lucky enough to be back for the Warriors' championship run. Curry going down closer to the playoffs could put his availability for the start of the postseason in jeopardy.

With Curry's health a potential worry for the defending champions, here's who needs to step up in his absence:

Quinn Cook, Warriors PG

Season averages: 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists

Cook has been getting starts with Curry on the mend. His confidence just wasn't there as Curry's replacement until he received a text from the two-time MVP himself saying, "I don’t care if you go zero-for-25, that 26th shot you better not hesitate." Since then, Cook has played with the confidence needed to step in for the five-time All-Star. 

In his last three starts before Curry's return on Friday, Cook averaged 24.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Cook will be relied upon heavily as the Warriors look ahead to the playoffs, especially if they match up against one the elite backcourts in the Western Conference.

Kevin Durant, Warriors SF

Season averages: 26.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists

In games without Curry, Durant has stepped up offensively, averaging 30.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He did enough to keep the Warriors at the top of the Western Conference with an 11-2 in the first 13 games the Dubs played without their two-time MVP.

It's going to be on the reigning Finals MVP to continue to produce once he makes his return from injury. Durant can handle the offensive load.

Draymond Green, Warriors PF

Season averages: 11.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists

No one in the starting lineup felt the absence of Curry more than Green this season. The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year has seen small jumps in his scoring and assists numbers this year, but when Curry missed a stretch of 10 straight games in December, Green's output actua

lly dropped below his season averages. 

If the three-time All-Star wants to prove to the league that he's capable of helping fill that huge void, he must find the form that he had in the Warriors' record-breaking 2015-16 season.