SAN FRANCISCO -- For weeks, Warriors guard Damion Lee has been sequestered to the team's training room, prompting a running joke among his fellow injured teammates.
"We're in detention while everybody's having recess," Lee explained Tuesday afternoon.
A two-way player, Lee has frequently outplayed his contract status, becoming a dependable member of the rotation. A fractured bone in his right hand impeded that progress, forcing him to miss a month of action. Now, after being upgraded to probable for Wednesday's matchup against the Knicks, he's eager to get back into the fold.
"I'm good. I'm going out there and not thinking about it," Lee said. "It took its course and it's healed, and everything's fine. When the time comes, I will be out there on the court, and whenever my number's called, just go out there and get the butterflies out early, and just have fun."
Lee joined Golden State on its most recent five-game road trip. After missing Monday's loss to Memphis, he was a full participant at Tuesday morning's practice, including a 3-on-3 scrimmage beforehand. While listed as probable for Wednesday's game against the Knicks, Lee expects to be slowly brought back.
"I highly doubt I'm going to be out there playing 30, 35 minutes. Just going out there," he said. "Just coming off the bench, just trying to bring that spark, muck up the game, and just have fun with everything."
Following an injury-plagued college career at Drexel and Louisville, Lee went undrafted in 2016 before bouncing around the league, including G League stops with the Maine Red Claws and Golden State's affiliate in Santa Cruz. This season, he has capitalized on the opportunity created by Klay Thompson and Steph Curry's combined absence. In a win over the Pelicans on Oct. 28, he scored a career-high 23 points, adding 11 rebounds.
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His availability comes with a caveat. As a two-way player, he can only be with the Warriors for 45 days, after which they will be forced to waive him, sign him to a guaranteed NBA contract or send him back down to Santa Cruz for the duration of the season. As of Tuesday, Lee has 31 days left with the Warriors.
Lee's return to the roster comes as Golden State is getting healthier. In the last week, expected contributors Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans and D'Angelo Russell all have returned from various injuries. Lee believes he'll reach his previous production levels in due time.
"I know tomorrow I'm not going to go out there and be perfect," Lee said. "I know I'm not going to make every shot, I'm not going to miss every shot. But it's just going out there and just doing things at game speed. Obviously, being in the game, but preparing at game speed and just going out there, and once it all starts to click, then it'll obviously go up. Going out there tomorrow, the main thing is just playing hard and having fun."