The Golden State Warriors will have to face their first challenge of the season without one of their key players, as forward Draymond Green has been ruled out of the team's season opener against the Phoenix Suns.
The Road to Recovery
Green's absence is attributed to a left lateral ankle sprain he sustained during an impromptu game just three days before the start of the training camp.
Though he began light on-court drills a week ago, followed by 3-on-3 sessions last Friday, and eventually progressed to 5-on-5 by Sunday, the team has decided he is not yet fit for an official game. Despite participating in Monday's practice and the controlled scrimmage, Warriors' Head Coach Steve Kerr voiced the team's reservations about Green's comeback.
"He's doing really well but we don't feel like it would be wise to throw him out with so little scrimmage time on the floor," Kerr expressed. He reassured fans and stakeholders that Green's condition would be continually assessed in the coming days.
Who Will Fill Green's Shoes?
As to who will be stepping in for Green during the season opener, Kerr remained tight-lipped. The coach experimented with various starting groups throughout the preseason. Notably, NBA veteran Chris Paul consistently featured in the starting lineup when he was active, hinting at a possible preference.
However, Kerr candidly admitted the impact of Green's absence on the team's initial performance. "I have a clear vision of our team this year and it will not be on display tomorrow night because we are not where we need to be," he stated, setting a realistic expectation for the team's fans.
But he was also optimistic about the team's prospects in the absence of Green, saying, "We're going to be way better in a month or two, but that doesn't mean we can't get off to a good start ... play well over the next couple of weeks as we're fitting Draymond back in." As the Warriors gear up for the season opener, the looming question remains – can they weather the storm without Green, or will his absence prove to be a significant setback for the team? Only time will tell.