A lower back injury has had Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green sidelined since early January. However, headlines are announcing his return to the courts just in time for the Warriors vs. Wizards game this month.
"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 h*ll. 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." The NBA star's return will come after 29 missed games since his early exit from the January 9th match against the Cavaliers and his first full game since January 5th. The Warriors have fallen to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and have gone 13-13 in Green's absence.
Green suffered his injury during pre-game warmups just before the Warriors faced Cleveland on January 9th - the same day Klay Thompson returned after an absence of two and a half years. To honor Thompson's return, Green took the floor during lineup introductions, taking an intentional foul immediately after tipoff to be subbed out.
But his return for the March 14 game is highly anticipated, especially by Golden State coach, who says he's "optimistic" the former Defensive Player of the Year will be back soon. “Until the last couple of weeks, we held our own defensively. We weren’t great. But we weren’t bad. Frankly, the last couple of weeks have been bad. That’s where Draymond makes a dramatic difference,” he recently said. “Draymond, as a point forward… gets us organized, gets Steph off the ball and changes the strategy for us, which is a big part of our offense. We’ve become a little bit more predictable without Draymond.” Green's stats this season show him averaging 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, in addition to being named an All-Star before sustaining injuries that forced him to miss the game on February 20. Draymond Green, who has reportedly "done really well with his rehab," will join his team on March 14 as the Warriors host the Wizards at Chase Center in San Francisco. Until then, stay tuned.