NBA Rumor: Draymond Green Injury

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Draymond Green targeting March 14 return

Draymond Green is targeting March 14 as his return date from the lower back injury that has held him out since Jan. 9. “Next Monday, the 14th, against the Wizards. That is the date I am targeting,” Green said on his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show.” “I am excited as hell. It’s been two and a half months, almost … I have never missed that much time during the season … this is something different for me. I am extremely excited to get back out there with my guys to try right this ship.”

On Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Green could return in the next seven to 10 days. Several members of the Warriors organization told ESPN that Green’s return was nearing, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he was “optimistic” the former Defensive Player of the Year would be back soon. “He’s done really well with his rehab,” Kerr said ahead of Golden State’s game against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. “I got a report today that he got another rehab session in on the court. And he’s had about a week, a week and a half now of being on the court, getting a lot of shots ups, scrimmaging. So he’s feeling a lot better and is coming along.

In those 25 games without Green, the Warriors’ league-best start has given way to glaring weaknesses on both ends of the court as they struggle to find consistency, desperately searching for the chemistry they were sure was going to be there once Thompson stepped back out on the court. The Warriors started the season looking like legitimate title contenders for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Now, with 19 games left of the regular season, those title hopes seem contingent upon Green’s return.

Green is one of only five current Warriors Thompson had played with ahead of his return this season, and he especially missed Green’s playmaking as he reintegrated into the lineup. Green and Thompson have connected on 669 shots, second only to the Curry-Thompson connection. “We’re all built in terms of trust and chemistry, and to have a guy like [Green] who is very vocal, high IQ, has a certain approach to leadership, all that stuff matters,” Curry said.

He said Saturday that the timetable for his return remains fluid. He estimated on Feb. 3 that he would return in three to four weeks but said at the All-Star Game on Sunday that it would be another three to four weeks from that point. “I’m trying to stick to as fast as I can possibly get back,” Green said. “From where I am, you feel like it’s three weeks or so, but it could be five weeks or so. … It’s no set thing. “In a week and a half, it could be like my conditioning is at a level, my strength is at a level, my explosiveness is at a level where you can go back out there.”

The Warriors said Green is making positive steps in his recovery from a “left L5-S1” disc injury and that he will be reevaluated before the All-Star break. “I talked to Draymond today, and he told me he’s been out on the court now the last couple of days and is feeling really good,” Kerr said. “He’s making good improvement. … But he’s not going to be ready to play in the next few days or anything like that. He’s going to continue with his rehab and we will re-evaluate with him just before the All-Star break. “We’ll go from there. But so far so good. We are just being very cautious and very patient, understanding that it’s a delicate injury and you can’t rush this one. It’s really impossible to predict when he is going to play. But all of the reports, including from him, have been very positive.”

Draymond Green to miss more time than expected?

The Warriors star had reportedly suffered a calf injury during warmups of that game in relation to a lingering lower back issue that continues to keep him on the shelf. According to ESPN insider Marc Spears, Stephen Curry and co. aren’t seeing Draymond Green return to the lineup anytime soon. In a recent appearance on NBA Today when he was asked to discussed the concern on Klay Thompson missing a game, Spears instead highlighted greater worry on Draymond. “I’m probably more concerned right now for Draymond Green. He still has another week before the Warriors reevaluate him. But right now, I keep hearing there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Draymond Green doubtful for Tuesday

Let’s start with Draymond Green. He scrimmaged two days ago and, after it, woke up in the morning with a sore foot. It persisted. The team had him get an MRI. It came back clear. They’re calling it a mild muscle strain in his right foot and he’s unlikely to play in Tuesday’s season opener against the Nets. “But we’re trying to be very, very careful,” Steve Kerr said. “So he did not practice today and he’s doubtful for Tuesday. But it’s not a long-term thing. We feel very confident that even if he doesn’t play on Tuesday or Christmas (against the Bucks), he’ll be on the trip and we think he’ll be available quickly.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green has been ruled out of Tuesday night’s game against the Kings at Chase Center with a right pelvic contusion, but he’s expected back Thursday against the Lakers. “He should be fine Thursday,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said. “He tried to go through shootaround this morning, and he was still hurting. We just want to make sure we’re smart about it. So, he’ll take tomorrow off and hopefully he’ll be ready to go Thursday. That’s our expectation.”
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