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Draymond Green to miss 4-6 weeks due to sprained ankle

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors brings the ball up court during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in game five of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 10, 2023 in San Francisco, California. 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. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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The question of “who will start for the Warriors on opening night” has taken an unexpected turn.

Draymond Green sprained his left ankle during a workout at the Chase Center this week, a story broken by Anthony Slater at The Athletic and confirmed by Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Green told Marc Spears of ESPN that it happened stepping on Jonathan Kuminga’s foot during a pickup game and he expects to be out 4-6 weeks.

Even on the short end of that timeline, Green would miss all of training camp and the first week of the NBA season. The Warriors open the season on Oct. 24 as they host Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns.

Green, 33, averaged 8.5 points a game shooting 61.2% inside the arc in 73 games for the Warriors last season. However, his real impact is felt on the defensive end, where he remains elite, both as a player who can guard up against forwards and centers, and as the quarterback who organizes the Warriors on that end. Green made the NBA All-Defensive second team last season.

While Green is out, expect Steve Kerr to lean into the combination of Kuminga and Dario Saric with more minutes.

The Warriors will take their time with getting Green back, he played through nagging injuries last season and it slowed him at points. With Golden State’s target being a fifth ring in the Stephen Curry era, the long play of getting Green fully healthy before he retakes the court is what matters.