Dec 7, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O

Golden State Warriors' Jermaine O'Neal Will Play vs. Bobcats

One vital piece of the Golden State Warriors’ bench is back.

Backup center Jermaine O’Neal will make his return tonight against the Bobcats after missing the past seven weeks with a wrist injury that required surgery. On Tuesday afternoon, O’Neal tweeted:

The 35-year-old O’Neal is averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Warriors this season, backing up Andrew Bogut. He has contributed not only on the court, but also as a veteran presence in the locker room, providing help to the younger guys. With fellow center Festus Ezeli also recovering from surgery, O’Neal’s injury has greatly hurt the Warriors’ depth, as they do not have a true backup center who they can count on to produce consistently.

Additionally, the Warriors have had their fair share of struggles with bench production, as their bench scores just 23 points per game, which ranks second-to-last in the league.

An 18-year veteran, O’Neal is most likely playing in his final NBA season. Nothing would be sweeter for him than to go out on top with a championship ring, and if the Warriors are to win it all, they will need O’Neal’s production.

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