San Francisco – Golden State Warriors striker Draymond Green He participated in his first training with the team since early January on a Saturday afternoon.
“It’s great to have his energy back in the gym and his voice,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He looked great physically. So this is a very positive step for him and we’re going from here.”
Green, who has been rehabilitating a lower back injury since Jan. 9, did shooting practice, 5-on-0 conditioning and “a lot” of other workouts on Saturday.
“My progress has been phenomenal,” Green said. “I think, where am I today, if you know where I was eight weeks ago or seven weeks ago, that’s day and night.”
During the first half of Green’s hiatus, he was unable to do any basketball activities. He spent most of that time—once his back was in place for physical activity—in the weight room.
“I am stronger than I have ever been in my life,” Green said. “…I spent six weeks sitting in a weightlifting room, working out there for four or five hours a day.”
Green was allowed into basketball activity in late January, but it was all solo business until Saturday.
On Saturday, he said the timetable for his return was still fluid. He estimated on February 3 that he would be back in three to four weeks, but said in the All-Star Game on Sunday that it would be another three to four weeks from that point.
“I try to hold on as fast as I can get back in,” Green said. “From where I am, it feels like three weeks or so, but it could take five weeks or so… It’s not a definite thing.
“In a week and a half, it might be as if my conditioning is at a level, my strength is at a level, and my blast is at a level where you can get back there.”
Those three things — conditioning, strength, and explosiveness — are what Green and the coaching staff monitor to let them know when he’s ready to play in a game or even a brawl. But there is no clear measure of how to know exactly when these aspects will be ready.
Greene’s goal is to play in at least a few of the remaining 22 regular season games.
“Like I said, once I feel complete and can get back in there and get my feet back under me before qualifying, that’s great,” Green said. “If it’s 15 games, great. If it’s 10, I’ll do it. If it’s five, then five games should work.”
The other huge man wounded in the warriors, James WisemanHe also ramped up his practices after rupturing his meniscus last April.
He’s now been fully involved in two practice sessions – Wednesday and Saturday – since the All-Star break, including a 12-minute brawl on Wednesday. On Friday he also worked with G League Santa Cruz Warriors in San Francisco.
It’s unclear if Wiseman will travel with the Warriors on their next four-game trip, or if he’ll stay in the Bay Area to get more solo action.
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