DENVER — All-Star forward David Lee of the Warriors is out for the season after injuring his hip during Golden State's 97-95 loss to Denver in Game 1 of their opening playoff series.
"Unfortunate, especially for a guy that's worked so hard and put himself in position and put us in the position that we're in today. ... But the task is still at hand so we move forward," coach Mark Jackson said.
MRI results showed a torn right hip flexor.
"I knew last night when I did it," Lee said before the Warriors' practice Sunday. "I felt it pop. So I knew we were going to get the results we did this morning. I went run back on defense and had absolutely no sensation in my leg. It wasn't even painful as much as it was just (numb)."
Lee said doctors told him he likely won't need surgery, just a couple of months of rest and rehab. He said he hopes to be 100 percent by mid-summer and come back stronger in camp.
The injury leaves the Warriors without a key producer down low. Lee led the NBA in double-doubles with 56 this season. He averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
"We can't replace him, and we know that," Jackson said. "And that's the thing we have to know right away. He's an All-Star power forward who's had an incredible year. But we have some guys on our bench that can do some things to cover up his absence."
Carl Landry stands to get the bulk of Lee's minutes with Draymond Green, Andris Biedrins and Festus Ezeli also in the rotation. Jackson might also go with a guard-heavy lineup at times.
Lee banged into JaVale McGee on a drive in the fourth quarter Saturday and winced as he landed on his right hip. After gathering himself, he shot both free throws, then struggled to run down court and needed assistance as he made his way to the bench.