Warriors Give Key Update on Andre Iguodala’s Return From Injury

Andre Iguodala Warriors-Celtics

Getty Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala looks on prior to Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors may not see veteran Andre Iguodala take the court anytime in the near future, and that’s fine with head coach Steve Kerr.

Kerr gave an update on the 19-year veteran, who has yet to play this season while working through a hip injury. Iguodala had contemplated retirement during the offseason but decided just before the start of training camp that he would return for one more season to help the Warriors defend their title. Though Kerr has stressed that Iguodala plays an important role off the court, serving as a mentor to the team’s group of young players, the team had hoped that he could also be a contributor in the rotation.

As Kerr revealed this week, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

Iguodala’s Return Still Not Near

As The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported on Twitter, Kerr said that Iguodala has been able to practice with teammates but hasn’t progressed to full-contact scrimmages. Kerr couldn’t give an exact date for when Iguodala could return, but stressed that it was more important to have him back for the back stretch of the season and playoffs.

“We’re more interested in him being healthy in the second half of the season. So we’re not going to throw him out there yet,” Kerr said this week, via Slater.

Iguodala has been able to stay close to the team, sitting on the bench during games as a motivator for his teammates.

Warriors Bench Working Through Early Struggles

With Iguodala still out and the Warriors losing a number of key bench players from last year’s team — with Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica all leaving in the offseason — the team struggled at times to get solid contributions from the bench.

With the departure of the group of veteran players, the Warriors have instead looked to move their younger players into bigger roles, but have not found much success. While second-year wing Jonathan Kuminga has become a key reserve, fellow 2021 lottery pick Moses Moody has not found a spot in the rotation and former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman was sent to the G League for more playing time with no return date in sight.

Kerr has instead turned to the more seasoned big man Anthony Lamb, who earned a two-way contract after being a late addition to training camp. Lamb is averaging 5.8 points in 18 minutes per game this season while shooting 42.9% on 3-pointers this season.

Warriors veteran Draymond Green said in a November 15 interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that he expected some growing pains for his younger teammates, especially compared to the veteran group that came off the bench for the Warriors last season.

“It’s a lot different,” Green said. “For the most part, coming off the bench, we’ve had elder statesmen [in years past]. Someone who would come off the bench, slow things down and right the ship.

“It’s different now.”

Iguodala might become the steady player that Green described when he does return, but that exact date remains unclear and Kerr doesn’t seem inclined to push the matter.

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