Green was sidelined January 9 by a calf injury. Upon further examination, doctors discovered the problem with his leg was actually connected an issue with a disc in his back. What initially sounded as though it might be a short stint for the Warriors without Green quickly turned into a multi-month absence that dropped the Dubs from first place in the Western Conference to third.
Green took to the microphone on Monday, March 7 to share the news that he would likely return to the court one week from that day.
“I am targeting my return next Monday, [March] 14 versus the [Washington] Wizards. I am excited as hell. It’s been two and a half months,” Green said via Twitter. “I’ve never missed that much time during [a] season. I have once had an ankle injury that kept me out for a very long time in high school, but it was the offseason, so this is something different for me. I’m extremely excited to get back out there with my guys to try to help right this ship.”
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Warriors Still in Hunt For Pivotal No. 2 Seed in Western Conference
Green’s return to the court could not come soon enough, as the Warriors are reeling in unfamiliar fashion.
Golden State has dropped eight of its last 10 contests, including the last four in a row. The slide has all but eliminated the Dubs from contention for the top seed in the Western Conference and has actually led to them slipping into a virtual tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 spot in the West standings. Both teams trail the Phoenix Suns by eight games as of Monday afternoon, though the Warriors hold a slight edge over the Grizz in win percentage because they have played two fewer games to this point in the season.
The Warriors will visit the Denver Nuggets Monday night — a game to which point guard Steph Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, and forward Andrew Wiggins will not travel. Dubs head coach Steve Kerr announced the decision Monday, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Their absences mean there is a good chance that Memphis will have overtaken Golden State in the standings come Tuesday, March 8.
Warriors Breathe Sigh of Relief With News of Green’s Return
All told, Green has missed the Warriors’ last 26 games. The team has played to a record of 14-12 during that span.
Should Green return on schedule, he will miss four more contests for a total of 30. Two of those games are against the Nuggets, while the other two are against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The entire Golden State Warriors have to be breathing a collective sigh of relief, as they get arguably their most important player back for a late season push and the all-important playoff run.
“We desperately need Draymond,” Kerr said following a March 3 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “You guys know that.”