Warriors Get Bad News on Draymond Green’s Injury Timeline

Draymond Green

Tom Pennington/Getty Images Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors will be without Draymond Green for longer than expected.

The team gave an update on the sore calf that has kept Green out for the last week, revealing that it is actually a lower back injury that has been causing the tightness. Green had initially been given an MRI shortly after suffering the injury prior to the January 9 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but after being evaluated by specialists this week the team offered a new diagnosis.

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Green to Miss Extended Stretch

The team announced on Sunday that the soreness Green has experienced in his left calf is actually tied to “the involvement of a disc in his lower back.” The ailment will keep Green out for at least the next two weeks, the team announced.

“Draymond will receive physical therapy in the coming days and will continue to be monitored by the team’s medical and training staff,” the Warriors said in a statement. “He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.”

Green will miss at least eight games, including a showdown with the Brooklyn Nets on January 29. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers without Green before dropping consecutive games to the Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks then rebounding with a blowout win over the Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors have been able to get some big contributions from the bench during Green’s absence. Rookie Jonathan Kuminga had a big performance against the Bulls, scoring 25 points in 25 minutes and turning in a number of big plays on the defensive end. Kuminga’s play earned some praise from teammate Steph Curry for his versatility.

“You can kind of throw him out there with any lineup,” Curry said, via The Athletic. “It’s just effort and intensity at the end of the day for him. He’s so athletic and has unbelievable upside. But what he does well shines when he plays hard.”

Green’s Defense Will Be Missed

It will be a challenge for the Warriors to fully replace what Green has brought this season. Though his numbers are not dramatic — averaging 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game along with 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks — Green has been the cornerstone of Golden State’s defense. NBA.com pegged him as the leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in the latest ranking, which came out December 21.

The write-up on Green noted that he is the centerpiece of one of the league’s best defenses, even if it doesn’t always reflect on the stat sheet.

“He’s not a rim protector, nor is he a lockdown on-ball defender,” the report noted. “You won’t find Green ranking high among the usual defensive stats such as steals, blocks, contested shots, deflections, loose balls recovered or charges drawn. But Golden State’s status as the league’s stingiest team makes the case for Green — when coach Steve Kerr or teammates otherwise aren’t — as the NBA’s best defensive player.”

Green’s loss will come at a difficult time for the Warriors, as the team had been waiting more than two years for the return of Klay Thompson to get the core of Thompson-Curry-Green back together. They will now have to wait at least a few more weeks to see them all in action together again.

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