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Draymond Green returns to Warriors practices, inches closer to return

2022 NBA All-Star Game

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 20: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors provides commentary during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

It had been back in January, seven weeks before, when Draymond Green was last on the court for the Golden State Warriors.

But there was Green on Saturday, going through non-contact drills — shooting drills, 5-0 conditioning — and inching closer to a return that is still weeks away. Green even being on the court was a good sign for the Warriors as they gear up for a stretch run and then playoffs where they are a serious contender out of the West. Via Monte Poole at NBC Sports Bay Area:

“It was great just to have his energy back in the gym,” coach Steve Kerr said. “His voice. He looked great, physically, and is excited to be back. That’s a very positive step for him and we’ll go from here.”

Green knows what’s ahead and was talking like a guy thinking playoffs when he spoke to the media.

“I’m trying to stick to (returning) as fast as I can possibly get back,” he said. “And be prepared to dominate. I was dominating when I got hurt, and I plan on coming back and dominating. I don’t want to limp out there trying to figure it out as I go. I want to come back strong, stronger than when I left. I’m still a little ways away from that.”

In early January Green felt pain in his calf, but doctors discovered it was tied to some lower back issues. The recovery involved Green not being on the court, so he said he spent a lot of time in the weight room.

Green was playing like a Defensive Player of the Year — the Warriors had the No. 1 defense in the league and it was 3.2 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court. On offense, his secondary playmaking is critical for the Warriors to reach their peak, and he was averaging 7.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists a game.

Last weekend in Cleveland for the All-Star Game, Green said he was 3-4 weeks away from a return, and while there is no official timeline that is as close as it gets.

Whenever Green makes his return, the Warriors need him right to make a postseason run at the Suns and the NBA crown.