Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors has been out of commission with a back injury since January 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then, Green himself and other people around the team have not been able to give much of a concrete schedule as to when he would be back.
Before Thursday’s win against the Sacramento Kings, Green provided an update with the media in regards to his status, and the overall outlook of the team.
“I’m hoping sometime within the next three or four weeks. I can’t put a definite timeline on it. At this point, I’m just rehabbing and building strength and letting my body heal. Ideally, I’d like to be back in three to four weeks, but I can’t guarantee that,” Green said during the February 3 press conference.
While he would not make it a certainty, this is definitely the most clear-cut timeline that has been given on his disc injury. Green made it clear he does not want to return until he feels 100% ready.
“When dealing with my back, one thing I’m not going to do is rush back out there, Green says. “If I’m not back in three weeks, that also doesn’t mean I’m not able to play in three weeks either. I want to return when I’m 100 percent confident that I’m healthy. When I feel like I’m in great shape. The reality is, I don’t want to return in somewhat, not great game shape.”
Back problems can affect the ability to walk correctly or even sit with the right posture. If not diagnosed correctly, it is easy to re-injure or even potentially make the situation worse. The defensive stalwart is right in taking a cautious approach to this injury, since the risk of a long-term issue is certainly plausible.
If all goes well the three to four week window will put Green to return on the court at around the start of March, about a week or so after the All-Star Break. This would potentially give the Big Three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Green some playing time on the court before they head into the playoffs.
Green Sends Strong Message on Potential Surgery
Green’s back injury was first discovered when he felt calf pain prior to the Cleveland game in early January. Rick Celebrini, the Warriors director of sports medicine, was able to diagnose the calf issue that was connected to his back.
The former Michigan State forward points out how surgery has never been presented as an option, but with back issues, surgery is always on the table.
“Initially, no one thought I needed surgery. Today, no one thinks I needed surgery. In saying that, you’re never out of the woods.”
Back injuries are tricky, as they can linger with random issues that may pop up. This is why Green would not guarantee a specific date for a possible return.
Warriors coach knows firsthand when he underwent surgery to fix a ruptured disc, but it led to a rare complication, a spinal fluid leak that caused continuously pain for two years, and it sidelined him during the 2017 playoffs. Head coach Steve Kerr spoke to The Mercury News about Green’s back injury, and offered perspective from his personal experience.
“Speaking from personal experience, everything seems to be trending in a good direction and hopefully, that continues to be the case.”